New Delhi: Rotomac pens owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul Kothari were arrested by the CBI on Thursday in connection with the alleged loan default of Rs 3,695 crore to a consortium of seven nationalised banks, news agency Press Trust of India has reported.
As per the FIR, Kothari owes Rs 754.77 crore to the Bank of India, Rs 456.63 crore to the Bank of Baroda, Rs 771.07 crore to the Indian Overseas Bank, Rs 458.95 crore to the Union Bank of India, Rs 330.68 crore to the Allahabad Bank, Rs 49.82 crore to the Bank of Maharashtra and Rs 97.47 crore to the Oriental Bank of Commerce, where the principal loan amount stands at Rs 2,919.39 crore, however, the amount swelled to Rs 3,695 crore, including the accrued interest, because of repeated defaults on payment.
On Wednesday, Kothari and his son were questioned by the CBI for the third consecutive day at the investigation agency’s headquarters in New Delhi.
Earlier, Kothari was questioned in Kanpur by CBI officials. His residence and office in Kanpur were among the multiple locations raided by CBI sleuths last week.
The CBI alleged that Kothari, his wife Sadhana and son Rahul, all directors of Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd, had allegedly diverted the loan amount towards purposes other than what they were meant for.
The CBI has initiated the action on the complaint of Bank of Baroda, which was a member of the consortium led by Bank of India, which had approached the agency fearing that Kothari may flee the country like Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
Initially, the alleged scam was estimated to be worth Rs 800 crore, but after the CBI launched its probe into the accounts of Rotomac Global Private Limited, it was found that the company had allegedly taken loans from the Bank of India, the Bank of Maharashtra, the Indian Overseas Bank, the Union Bank of India, the Allahabad bank and the Oriental Bank of Commerce.
On 20 February, the ED had notified all the land, sea and airports in the country to prevent the exit of Kothari and his family members from India, in connection with its money laundering probe.
It had also conducted searches at multiple locations in Uttar Pradesh, including in Unnao and Kanpur, to gather evidence in the case.
The ED had slapped criminal charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the company and its promoters on 18 February, based on a CBI FIR filed on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department has issued a show cause notice to the group stating as to why prosecution should not be launched against them for alleged tax evasion.
The Income Tax department had also attached 14 bank accounts of the pen manufacturer as part of its tax evasion probe against it on Tuesday, 20 February.
The Income Tax Department on Wednesday, 21 February, said it has attached four immovable assets of the Rotomac group and its promoters in connection with an alleged tax evasion probe against them.
They said the properties, three in Kanpur and one in Ahmedabad, were provisionally attached on 20 February.
These attachment of assets, they said, has been carried out to "recover outstanding tax demands" from the group, understood to be about Rs 85 crore.
(With agency inputs)