The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Bank (PMC) has revealed that the lender had disbursed a loan of Rs 50 crore to Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) barely 23 days before the RBI clampdown.
The bank was placed under restrictions by RBI for allegedly trying to mislead the banking regulator by masking its core banking system and creating over 21,000 fake accounts to hide loan defaults by HDIL group companies.
The Rs 50 crore loan had been utilised for repayment of a loan taken from Bank of India by a HDIL group company. HDIL group companies have taken loans worth Rs 6117.93 crore. Acording to the charge sheet filed by ED, it is investigating the money-laundering angle.
The ED probe found instances where the alleged masked loans from PMC Bank were used to meet debt obligations of other banks.
Manjit Kaur Ishwar Singh, former Joint General Manager (Credit) in PMC Bank, told the probe agency that HDIL had a total 44 loan accounts, which included personal accounts of promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan.
In her statement, she said that majority of loans borrowed by HDIL and group companies were used to settle loans or liabilities of other group companies. She told that loans sanctioned to HDIL group company by PMC Bank , Awas Developer's and Construction Pvt Ltd and Serveall Constructions Pvt Ltd were utilised for settling the loan amounts of Mi Marathi Media Ltd - another HDIL group company .
She further added that another loan worth Rs 33 crore sanctioned to HDIL group company Excel Arcade Pvt Ltd was utilised to pay off loan of HDIL group company Privilege Industries Ltd. PMC had also sanctioned another loan of Rs 200 crore to HDIL group company Somerset Constructions PVT, which was used to settle the liabilities of HDIL Group company Blue Star Realtors.
Singh also recalled that a term loan of Rs 100 crore sanctioned by the bank to Excel Arcade Pvt Ltd was used to clear the OD of Excel (Rs 30 crore)
The remainingRs 70 crore was also further diverted for payment of a loan of Privilege Industries Ltd. The balance OD of Rs 21 crore was transferred to the Excel loan account.
Singh told Enforcement Directorate officials that the bank's CMD Joy Thomas would personally look into the accounts of HDIL and group companies and had instructed systems department to apply access code so that the HDIL accounts don't appear in the overdrawn and overdue statements. This was done to hide the company's loan exposure from RBI.
ED also recorded statements of HDIL group officials, which includes the statement of Darshan Majumdar, Chief Financial Officer of HDIL.
Majumdar told that the majority amount of loan borrowed (around Rs 1520.49 crore) from PMC was by three group companies - HDIL, PPIPL and GACL. The principle amount of these loans was Rs 513.01 crore while the interest came to Rs 1007.47 crore.
The two HDIL group companies - GACL and PPIPL - have under- construction projects and hold land that are active while many other group companies have assets or right of development yet to be utilised.
Majumdar further revealed that there were around 23 dormant HDIL group companies.
Enforcement Directorate has provisionally seized immovable property worth Rs 200 crore and jewellery around Rs 90 crore.