CBI sets up group to deal with financial frauds, loan defaults

Mumbai: The CBI today vowed not to spare scamsters however mighty or rich they may be and announced formation of a working group that will coordinate with various financial institutions to help curb financial frauds.

"We will have a working group set up. The group will be meeting regularly and go into various aspects relating to the early detection of these kinds of defaults and frauds.

"Our focus is on the recovery of the stolen assets, particularly repartition of the assets which have been stolen and stashed away. Our endeavour is to bring that money back," CBI Director Anil Sinha told reporters here.

He was speaking after day-long deliberations with bankers, financial institutions and regulators to figure out ways to tackle the rising menace of bank frauds, loan defaults and cyber crime.

Today's meeting was the seventh in a series and focused on dealing with financial frauds and ensuring speedy recovery of assets in these cases.

"The trust of the public (in agencies tackling such cases) should be restored and towards that we have to move constantly. I am positive that there will be very good outcome of this meeting," the IPS officer said.

Asked whether Vijay Mallya, chairman of grounded Kingfisher Airlines - who owns over Rs 7,000 crore to 17 banks and declared willful defaulter by SBI and PNB - will be facing the law, Sinha declined to comment on the specific case, but said, "however high or mighty she or he may be, we will make sure that everyone realises that crime does not pay."

Last week Mallya, after being ousted from the chairmanship of his company United Spirits by the new owners Diageo, had said he was settling down in London with his children.

Sinha called for free-flow and exchange of information between various institutions so that "we can actually have a very effective mechanism to proceed against people who are swindling public of their money and also who are causing severe losses to banks".

The proposed working group will be looking into every default so that if it is to be declared fraud, banks can do it swiftly and CBI can investigate them expeditiously.

Sinha said the CBI will now be engaging with financial bodies like banks, insurance firms and regulatory authorities, for capacity building programme. "There would be regular modules, regular capacity building programme in our academy."

He said the training institutions of these bodies will also be partnering with CBI to adopt global best practices and devise methods of ensuring proper compliances within the system.

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