State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, has lodged a complaint with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the owners of Delhi-based Basmati rice exporter Ram Dev International Limited for defrauding the bank of hundreds of crore.
Similar to Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, directors of Ram Dev International Limited allegedly duped six banks for over Rs 400 crore and then fled to Dubai. Interestingly, SBI approached the CBI four years after the accused fled the country whereas the default came to light for the first time in 2016.
The CBI had recently booked Ram Dev International and its directors Naresh Kumar, Suresh Kumar and Sangita, for allegedly defrauding Rs 414 crore, which includes Rs 173.11 crore from SBI, Rs 76.09 crore from Canara Bank, Rs 64.31 crore from Union Bank of India, Rs 51.31 crore from Central Bank of India, Rs 36.91 crore from Corporation Bank and Rs 12.27 crore from IDBI Bank.
Ram Dev International was declared NPA (non-performed asset) in January 2016 but the bank took 4 years to approach the court. The SBI in its complaint claims that the accused forged the bank accounts, balance sheets to gain unlawfully at the cost of bank's funds.
The complaint also claims that when in 2016, an inspection was being conducted, the borrowers were not available and were told that they might have left the country.
In its defence, bank in its complaint maintained that there was no delay in filing the complaint as missing status of accused was confirmed only in 2018.
Ram Dev International had three rice milling plants, besides eight sorting and grading units in Karnal district with offices in Saudi Arabia and Dubai for trading purposes, the SBI complaint said.
Besides SBI, other members of the consortium are Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, IDBI, Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank, they said.