CBI probes ₹540-cr. aquaculture scam in IDBI Bank in AP, Telangana

The CBI is probing a scam in which about 360 farmers and others from Andhra Pradesh and Adilabad district of Telangana allegedly borrowed ₹540 crore from the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) in two instances of cheating.

The fake aqua farmers obtained advances from the Chandramouli Nagar, Guntur and the Basheerbagh and other branches in Hyderabad between 2009 and 2014.

Based on the complaints lodged by the bank Senior Regional Head Manjunath Pai and Dhananjay Lele, General Manager, Zonal Office, Hyderabad, the CBI registered cases of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and other charges on March 22.

Services terminated

After the scam surfaced, the services of then Assistant General Manager, (AGM) IDBI Bank, Guntur Branch, Chennapagari Chandrashekar Harish, and Battu Rama Rao, GM, Basheerbagh Branch, were terminated and then Chief General Manager (CGM) and Regional Head, Agri Business Group (ABG) R. Damodaran was retired from service. All the three officers have since been facing criminal cases in the multi-crore scam.

In one case, it was alleged that 142 fake beneficiaries conspired with Mr. Chandrashekar, aggregators, panel advocate, valuer and others and obtained loans worth ₹33.81 crore by submitting fake lease deed documents, faulty title deeds and overvalued collateral properties and other false documents.

The advances amounting to ₹33.81 crore were drawn between 2010 and 2014 and the outstanding reached ₹93.73 crore.

Many officials involved

In another case, Mr. Damodaran and Mr. Rama Rao processed Kisan Credit Card and Pisciculture loans worth ₹192.98 crore to 220 borrowers belonging to East and West Godavari and Krishna districts in AP and some farmers of Adilabad district. The “beneficiaries” reportedly colluded with the bank officials of the Basheerbagh and the Habsiguda branches in Hyderabad and the Siripuram branch in Visakhapatnam to the tune of ₹445.32 crore.

“The accused were natives of Bhimavaram, Amalapuram, Kakinada, Undi, Narsapuram, Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram, Hyderabad, Secunderabad and other places in AP and Telangana,” the bank officials said.

The fraudsters borrowed loans in the name of some groups and as individuals and the investigation officers are trying to identify the accused.

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