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CBI REGISTERS CASE AGAINST UK BASED COMPANY MOLINARE LTD , OTHERS ON FRAUD OF RS. 192.48 CRORE BANK OF INDIA

September 23, 2021 07:54 PM

SEARCHES WERE CONDUCTED TODAY AT TWO LOCATIONS IN DELHI AT THE PREMISES OF ACCUSED WHICH LED TO RECOVERY OF INCRIMINATING DOCUMENTS / ARTICLES. INVESTIGATION IS CONTINUING.

New Delhi (Face2News)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case on a complaint from Bank of India against UK based Molinare Ltd (borrower company) & others including Managing Director, Directors/ Guarantors and unknown public servants for causing an alleged loss of Rs. 192.48 crore to Bank of India. 

FIR names its then MD Prabodh Kumar Tewari and his two sons, Anand and Abhishek, as accused persons. Anand was also a company director.

The three accused, who are residents of Maharani Bagh in Delhi, cheated the bank’s London branch of £18.51 million. The CBI had earlier registered seven FIRs linked to Mr. Tewari and his companies on allegations that they cheated several banks of about 2,600 crore. In 2012, the agency had also arrested him and Anand. They later came out on bail.

The bank lodged a complaint with the CBI on the basis of alleged irregularities detected during a forensic audit of the loan account, which revealed diversion and siphoning of funds on the basis of bogus or inflated invoices.The previous CBI cases purportedly involve Tewari, his sons, Pixion Media Private Limited, Pearl Media Private Limited, Mahuaa Media Private Limited, Pixion Vision Private Limited, Pearl Studio Private Limited, Pearl Vision Private Limited and Century Communication Limited. Based on these cases, the Enforcement Directorate has also attached properties worth over Rs. 250 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

 

In the latest case, a probe into the holding pattern of Molinare Limited revealed that Century Communication Europe Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Communication Limited, had acquired 76% stake in Molinare Productions Limited, which held 100% stake in Molinare Holdings Limited, which in turn held 100% stake in Molinare Limited. All these companies were controlled and operated by Mr. Tewari and his sons, as alleged.

Molinare Limited was established in November 1973 as a privately owned post production studio in the U.K. The company approached the Bank of India’s London branch for credit facilities to expand, up-grade and replace its existing equipment and also for the takeover of the then existing working capital facilities from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The financing started from November 2008 onwards. However, the loan account turned non-performing asset in May, 2012. Through the liquidator, the bank recovered £1.78 million by sale of the charged assets. Proceedings before the Debt Recovery Tribunal are also under way since October 2016.

The bank lodged a complaint with the CBI on the basis of alleged irregularities detected during a forensic audit of the loan account, which revealed diversion and siphoning of funds on the basis of bogus or inflated invoices.

The previous CBI cases purportedly involve Tewari, his sons, Pixion Media Private Limited, Pearl Media Private Limited, Mahuaa Media Private Limited, Pixion Vision Private Limited, Pearl Studio Private Limited, Pearl Vision Private Limited and Century Communication Limited. Based on these cases, the Enforcement Directorate has also attached properties worth over Rs. 250 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED earlier alleged that the funds were diverted in the account of group companies and used for acquiring assets in Mumbai, Chennai, Noida and Kolkata, buying gold, jewellery and investing in the stock market and mutual funds, besides withdrawing cash via shell companies. Outward foreign remittances were also made.

It was alleged that Century Communication, which had launched India’s first Bhojpuri channel Mahuaa TV in 2008, owed more than Rs. 916 crore, while Pearl Vision owed 340 crore. Also, there was an outstanding of Rs. 234 crore and 695.42 crore on the part of Mahuaa Media and Pixion Media when the CBI had launched its probe.

The Income-Tax Department had also earlier conducted a probe against some accused persons.

The accused  company was said to have been engaged in activities relating to post production services in entertainment and media industry. It was alleged in the complaint that the said accused had cheated the Bank of India by submitting fabricated / inflated / bogus invoices without having any genuine business transactions for availing the loan funds and thereafter diverting the same. 

Searches were conducted today at two locations in Delhi at the premises of accused which led to recovery of incriminating documents / articles. Investigation is continuing.

 
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