CBI books Unitech MD in Rs 198 crore Canara bank fraud case, conducts searches

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday booked managing director of Unitech, Sanjay Chandra, along with his father Ramesh and brother Ajay for alleged bank fraud of Rs 198 crore in Canara bank.

The CBI also carried out searches at multiple locations at the premises of the Sanjay Chandra.

After relief from a Delhi court on medical grounds, Chandra was on Friday released on interim bail from Tihar Jail after 43 months.

Unitech is facing multiple probes by several agencies including Delhi Police, CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Chandra’s alleged role had also figured in the 2G Spectrum scam but he was acquitted by the trial court, news agency PTI reported.

Canara Bank has alleged that Unitech had been availing credit facilities from it on the basis of personal and corporate guarantees from Chandras. Later, due to low demand in the housing market, the company started defaulting on payments.

The government had taken over control of the company and the Supreme Court had ordered a forensic audit by Grant Thorton into the company’s finances.

It emerged in the forensic audit that the company has diverted, siphoned off and misappropriated funds.

“Out of Rs 1,4270 crores collected from 29,800 homebuyers, around Rs 5063.05 crore was potentially not utilised for the construction and execution of the 74 identified projects.

“Similarly Unitech availed Rs 1805.86 crore from six financial institutions, out of which Rs 763 crore was not utilised for projects,” bank alleged in its complaint which is now part of the FIR.

The audit also showed that between 2007 and 2010, the company made investments of over Rs 1,745 crore in Cyprus, a tax haven.

The report showed alleged unexplained write-off of investments and advances to related parties, diversion of funds to offshore tax havens and related companies, it said.

The company allegedly committed a breach of trust and created false ownership in favour of a third party without the knowledge of mortgagee, the bank alleged.

The bank alleged that the company has misappropriated Rs 198 crore of public money.

(With PTI inputs)

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