DHFL Scam: AgustaWestland chopper seized in India's biggest bank fraud
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has seized an AgustaWestland chopper from the property of one Avinash Bhosale as part of the Diwan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. scam. The agency also seized watches worth Rs. 1 crore and paintings worth Rs. 38 crore earlier this month. CBI seized the helicopter in Pune, in connection with the Rs. 34,615 crore scam.
- Until now, the Nirav Modi-led PNB loan fraud of Rs. 13,000 crore and ABG Shipyard loan fraud of Rs. 20,000 crore were considered to be the biggest bank-loan fraud case in the country.
- However, with Rs. 34,000 crore loan fraud, DHFL's case has become the biggest-ever loan fraud case in India.
- The loan was declared non-performing asset in 2019 and fraud in 2020.
The investigation agency has carried out searches at many locations over the last month. On Saturday, the CBI sized an AgustaWestland helicopter from Bhosale's property, a Pune-based builder. The chopper was stored inside a hangar-like hall with pop culture posters on the wall, NDTV reported. This comes days after Kapil Wadhawan and Deepak Wadhawan were sent to three-day CBI custody in Delhi.
CBI seized a helicopter during search conducted at premises of builder Avinash Bhosale in Pune. He was allegedly involved in scam involving DHFL that caused loss of Rs 34,615 cr to a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India. The helicopter is AgustaWestland make: Sources pic.twitter.com/oGMLf9oK1k— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2022
The agency managed to recover documents linked to 95 shell companies, along with 25 luxury watches (worth Rs. 1 crore) and 56 paintings (worth Rs. 38 crores) from the Wadhawan brothers. Jewelry worth Rs. 2 crore from the Frank Mueller brand has also been seized. The Pune-based builder also spent Rs. 300 crore received from DHFL on a property in London.
The CBI booked Kapil and Deepak on June 20, along with 11 other accused, in the biggest-ever bank fraud case in India. The Wadhawans are accused of defrauding a consortium of 17 banks of over Rs. 34,000 crore. They reportedly used shell companies and 'Bandra Books' (a parallel accounting system) to give fake loans and steal public funds given to DHFL.
Reportedly, DHFL defaulted on its debt payment obligations from May 2019 onwards. This was followed by a sharp correction in DHFL's share price. When banks raised questions on the company's financial health, Wadhawans gave false assurance saying DHFL held a strong liquidity equated to six months of cash and would remain cash surplus even after considering all repayment obligations for the Financial Year 2018-19.
A forensic audit conducted by the KPMG in 2020-21 of DHFL loan accounts observed, "large amounts were disbursed as loans and advances by the borrower company to a number of inter-connected entities and individuals with commonalities to DHFL Promoter Entities, which were used for purchase of shares/debentures." Most of the transactions of such entities/individuals were in the nature of investments in land/properties, it added.