CBI Seizes Paintings, Artworks Worth Rs 40 Crores

Mubarak Ansari

Mumbai, 8th July 2022: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted further searches, in an ongoing investigation of a case related to the alleged loss of Rs 34,615 Crore (approx.) to consortium of 17 Banks led by Union Bank of India, at the premises of two persons in Mumbai and Dewan Villa, Mahabaleshwar which led to the recovery of a large number of paintings and sculptures, some cash and other incriminating documents. The value of these artworks is estimated to be around Rs 40 crore, as per initial estimates.

During the investigation, it was found that the promoters had allegedly diverted the funds and made investments in various entities. It was also alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs. 55 Crore (approx.) using the diverted funds.

A case was registered on complaint from Union Bank of India, Industrial Finance Branch, Mumbai against private (Borrower) company based at Mumbai, its then CMD, then Director and others including a private person, private companies, unknown public servant(s) & private persons on the allegations that the accused cheated a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India to the tune of over Rs. 34,615 crore (approx.) by siphoning off loans availed from the said banks & falsifying the books of said private (Borrower) company and creating Shell Companies/false entities, which had come to be known as “Bandra Book Entities”.

It was alleged that the said private company & its promoters had created a number of shell companies & fictitious entities (the Bandra Book entities) and siphoned off huge funds by disbursing funds to such fictitious entities. It was further alleged that separate audits conducted by other private audit accounting organisations had identified multiple instances of diversion of funds by the accused for personal benefits and falsification of books of accounts to camouflage and conceal dubious transactions. The audits also identified several instances where large value loans were provided to such fictitious entities without due diligence and without securities. Instances of sanction and disbursement of loans, merely by e-mail communications were allegedly found for which no loan files were maintained in the said private (Borrower) company.

Earlier, searches were conducted on 22.06.2022 at 12 locations in Mumbai at the premises of the accus which led to recovery of incriminating documents.