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₹513-cr Karnala Bank scam: Ex-MLA from Panvel, 75 others named in FIR

₹513-cr Karnala Bank scam: Ex-MLA from Panvel, 75 others named in FIR

A former member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Panvel and 75 others have been booked for siphoning off ₹512.54 crore from Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank in the form of loans using forged documents.

The main accused in the case is Vivekanand Patil, a three-term MLA from Panvel constituency from Peasants and Workers Party of India and the chairman of the bank. The police have also booked the bank’s vice-chairman Subhash Deshpande, chief executive officer Hemant Sutane and 12 directors of the bank.

Sources said a special audit shows that since 2013, Patil created several fake bank accounts to facilitate at least 63 loans to bogus firms and persons without any valid documentation.

A case was filed at Panvel City police station on Monday after the audit report was submitted.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had flagged 58 suspicious accounts in the bank and instructed the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar, Cooperative Societies (CC and RCS) to look into the accounts, in March last year. The district special audit was initiated by a government auditor who submitted his report to the CC and RCS, Maharashtra, with the findings.

“The accounts, which were given loans, were either Patil’s close friends’ or his relatives’. The loan limit to these accounts was increased gradually and the sanctioned loan amount was diverted to Karnala Charitable Trust and Karnala Sports Academy, both run by Patil,” said the source based on the audit report.

“Based on the special audit report, a case has been registered against 76 people, including former MLA Vivekanand Patil, other bank officials and debtors for siphoning off funds to the tune of ₹512.54 crore. Assistant commissioner of police, crime branch has been appointed to investigate the case,” said a statement from the Navi Mumbai police commissioner’s office.

A case has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy and Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments Act), 1999.

Patil did not respond to calls or text messages.

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