The CBI on Tuesday searched the premises of one of the largest processors of premium Basmati rice in the country, Best Food Limited, and residences of its chairman and manager director for alleged bank fraud of Rs 1006.46 crore in a State Bank of India-led consortium, officials said on Tuesday.
The search operation started in the morning at four locations at the company's offices in Chandigarh and New Delhi and residences of chairman Mohinder Pal Jindal and managing director Dinesh Gupta in Karnal, they said.
The agency has invoked IPC sections related to cheating, criminal misappropriation, criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct and forgery against Best Foods Limited for alleged diversion of credit funds from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2018, they said.
In its complaint to the CBI, the State Bank of India (SBI) has alleged that Best Foods Limited (BFL) was selling rice under one umbrella brand of BEST with different names like Best Premium, Best Super Premium, across India.
The complaint, now part of the FIR, alleged that the company had installed capacity of 101 MT per hour of paddy milling and 149 MT per hour of rice sorting and grading, and had emerged as "one of the largest processors of premium basmati rice in the country".
The bank alleged that the company started defaulting on loan payments resulting in the classification of their accounts as non performing assets on September 27, 2016, with Rs 1006.46 crore outstanding
During a forensic audit, the bank spotted alleged fudging of balance sheets by inflating inventories and diversion of bank funds to misappropriate them, it alleged.
"All the above illegal acts constitute cognizable offences under the Indian Penal Code and have been committed with an intention to cause loss to the bank which has sanctioned the credit facilities and gained unlawfully at the cost of banker's funds whereby causing wrongful loss to SBI to the tune of Rs.1006.46 crore," it said.