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CBI conducts searches in Odisha, Uttarakhand in Rs 140-crore loan fraud case

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday conducted searches in Odisha and in Uttarakhand in connection with a case related to cheating the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Allahabad Bank to the tune of Rs 140 crore.

“Searches were conducted at the property of the accused in Cuttack and in Dehradun. Further investigation is continuing,” said a CBI officer.

The Punjab National Bank’s Cuttack circle head-cum-assistant general manager Laxmikanta Mishra lodged a complaint with the CBI on Tuesday alleging M/s SR Alcobev Private Limited having its office at New Industrial Estate in Jagatpur cheated PNB and Allahabad Bank after availing credit facilities/term loans from them.

Alcobev’s managing director Ranjan Kumar Padhi and his wife and firm’s director Saina Kar, corporate guarantors M/s Naina Devi Suppliers Private Limited and M/s Chandraghanta Iron and Steel Traders Private Limited in Kolkata had approached the main branch of PNB at Buxi Bazar in Cuttack and Allahabad Bank, now Indian Bank, in Bhubaneswar to avail a financial facility by claiming the loan would lead to the growth of the company’s business.

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Under a consortium agreement, PNB sanctioned credit facility/term loan of Rs 40 crore and Allahabad Bank sanctioned Rs 33 crore to Alcobev in 2013.

The banks disbursed the loan amount to Alcobev, M/s Brewforce Technologies (supplier) in Dehradun and contractor Sukanta Kumar Lenka for construction at the plant site of the tainted firm of Ranjan Kumar Padhi.

However, the borrowers/guarantors allegedly violated the terms and conditions of the sanctioned amount and they neither procured the machineries or deposited the installments on time for which the loan account turned into a non-performing asset (NPA).

The accused promoters, directors, guarantors and suppliers allegedly misappropriated and diverted the loan proceeds with an ulterior motive to defraud the two banks to the tune of about Rs 140.48 crore (principal amount and interest as of September 30, 2021).

In its FIR, CBI has mentioned the names of Alcobev, its managing director Ranjan Kumar Padhi, director Saina Kar, corporate guarantors M/s Naina Devi and Chandraghanta Iron and Steel Traders, supplier Brewforce Technologies, civil contractor Sukanta Kumar Lenka, unknown officials of PNB, and others.

Sources said Alcobev was incorporated in May 2011, and is registered at Registrar of Companies in Cuttack. Alcobev was reportedly manufacturing beverages but currently, the firm’s operations are shut at its plant in Jagatpur.

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