PMC bank scam: Forensic audit, paper trails, kickbacks and 340 witness accounts

Updated: Dec 26, 2019, 07:16 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

These will form the backbone of the charge sheet in the Rs 6,700-crore PMC Bank scam that the EOW will file in court against five accused on Friday

Waryam Singh and Joy thomas
Waryam Singh and Joy thomas

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police is likely to file a charge sheet on Friday in its ongoing investigation in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank fraud case. Initially, the fraud was reported to be around Rs 4,355 crore. The amount was later said to be R6,700 crore. The charge sheet will be against five accused, including PMC Bank MD Joy Thomas; chairman Waryam Singh; one of the directors Surjit Singh Arora, and HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan.

The agency has also added sections of destruction of evidence and falsification of documents against all these accused in the charge sheet. The supplementary charge sheet will be submitted against the remaining seven accused arrested later in the case.

'Strong documentary evidence'

The charge sheet, which is likely to be submitted before the Esplanade Court on Friday, has strong documentary evidence which includes the forensic audit report of PMC Bank, and documents of purchased property with the kick backs received by some of the accused for giving undue favour to the Wadhawans. "Apart from the documentary evidence, the EOW has recorded the statements of 340 witnesses and the statements of 100 PMC bank account holders are also included in the charge sheet," a senior IPS officer told mid-day. "It was like a broad day light dacoity of peoples' money and we have very strong documentary evidence against all the accused, as to how they looted public money with the connivance of bank officials," the officer said.

Surjit Singh Arora
Surjit Singh Arora

The agency has also recorded four crucial witness statements before the magistrate under section 164 CrPC (Recording of confessions and statements). "The four statements recorded before the magistrate are of the employees of PMC Bank. Their confessional statements will tighten the case further in the comprehensive charge sheet against the five accused, the officer added.

'Various documents destroyed'

The officer also confirmed to mid-day, that during the investigation it has been established that various documents have been destroyed by the master mind (Joy Thomas) and the accused involved in the fraud, and hence sections 201 (Destruction of Evidence) and 477(A) (Falsification of accounts) of IPC have been added in the FIR.

"Several documents related to the fraud have been destroyed by the accused, specially from the minutes of the board of directors' meeting. Not a single record of HDIL loans or over draft facility is found in the minutes of the board of directors meetings of the past few years," an officer privy to the investigation said.

 Sarang Wadhawan, Rakesh Wadhawan
Sarang Wadhawan, Rakesh Wadhawan 

The HDIL forensic audit report is still awaited. It is going to play a more important role in terms of establishing the diversion of funds received by the Wadhawans and the kickbacks given to top PMC officials including Thomas, Waryam Singh and the directors of the bank. "The supplementary charge sheet against the remaining seven accused arrested later in the matter will be submitted before the completion of 90 days, the HDIL forensic audit report will be added in that," the officer added.

PMC revival by end of January

A BJP delegation lead by former MP Kirit Somaiya met the governor of the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) on Wednesday. After the meeting, Somaiya said, "The PMC Bank revival and re-arrangement is expected by January end, the final forensic audit report of HDIL and its valuation is expected in the next four weeks.'

Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank’s depositors during a protest outside the Reserve Bank of India at BKC recently. PIC/PTI
Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank’s depositors during a protest outside the Reserve Bank of India at BKC recently. Pic /PTI

Since the RBI restrictions on PMC Bank depositors for withdrawal, more than 100 protests have been carried by thousands of depositors across Mumbai. Around 12 depositors have died in the aftermath of the scam. Two depositors have allegedly committed suicide.

The accused arrested so far

Joy Thomas: MD, PMC Bank
Waryam Singh: Chairman of PMC Bank
Rakesh Wadhawan: HDIL promoter
Sarang Wadhawan: HDIL promoter
Surjit Singh Arora: Director PMC Bank
Jayesh Sanghani: Statutory auditor PMC Bank
Kentan Lakdawala: Statutory auditor PMC Bank
Anita Kirdat: Concurrent Auditor PMC Bank
Rajneet Singh (Son of former BJP MLA): PMC Bank Director
Jagdish Mookhey: PMC Bank Director
Mukti Bavisi: PMC Bank Director
Trupti Bane: PMC Bank Director

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