Bank loan

CBI hands over Chennai-based firm for multi-crore bank loan fraud

Representative image | Photo credit: IANS

Highlights

  • CBI booked a city-based food production company for defrauding multiple banks of over Rs 200 crore
  • The CBI has filed a complaint against Oceanic Tropical Fruits Private Limited (OTFPL)
  • According to the FIR filed by CBI, directors of company A Joseb Raj, Vimala Joseb and James Walter misappropriated loan funds

Chenai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has accused a food producing company based in the city of defrauding several banks of more than Rs 200 crore.

The CBI has filed a lawsuit against Oceanic Tropical Fruits Private Limited (OTFPL), PepsiCo’s co-packer of their Slice product, after it failed to repay loans it had taken from three banks – State Bank of India, ICICI and Central Bank of India, The Times of India reported.

According to an FIR filed by the CBI last week, company directors A. Joseb Raj, Vimala Joseb and James Walter misappropriated loan funds. OTFPL submitted fake vouchers and transaction details to misappropriate the money. The company used KK Foods to collect debts from its consumers. KK Foods collected the receivables but did not credit them to OTFPL’s accounts.

When the loans were not paid, the banks declared them non-performing assets (NPA), which caused financial losses.

According to the TOI report, OTFPL was involved in fruit processing, including mangoes, and KK Foods worked as a middleman with mango suppliers. OTFPL has its fruit manufacturing and processing units in several districts of Andhra Pradesh including Chennai.

When KKF’s ledger account was examined by the banks, they discovered several inconsistent transactions. The company claimed to have used private vehicles to transport 10,000 kg of mangoes. However, the banks found that the vehicle registration numbers were for two-wheelers and not heavy goods vehicles.

In 2019, the banks declared the company’s activities fraudulent and asked SBI’s stress asset management arm to take action. CBI later opened an investigation after registering a complaint against the company for deceiving banks out of more than Rs 200 crore by misappropriating loan funds.

In December last year, the CBI booked a Namakkal-based company in Tamil Nadu for deceiving the Indian Overseas Bank out of Rs 62 crore, The Times of India reported.

CBI filed a complaint against Subhashri Bio Energies Private Limited for deceiving the bank. According to reports, the company’s loans were restructured several times before being declared non-performing assets (NPA).