Amid Yes Bank crisis, whopping Rs 223 crore loan fraud surfaces in J&K Cooperative Bank

Beneficiary a Srinagar man owning fake housing society; ACB registers case against Bank Chairman, others

Srinagar, Mar 9: Far from the Yes Bank skeletons tumbling in the mainland, the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kashmir has unearthed a similar scam in J&K Co-operative Bank where a whopping loan of Rs 223 crore was fraudulently sanctioned in favour of a non-existent cooperative housing society.

The Bureau, as per its spokesperson, has registered a case against the Bank Chairman Mohammad Shafi Dar and others after its primary investigation revealed that Dar, in connivance with the officials and the beneficiary, had sanctioned amount of Rs 223.00 crores  fraudulently in favour of  nonexistent Co-operative society ‘River Jhelum  Cooperative Housing Building Society’  at Shivpora Srinagar.

The loan was sanctioned in favour of the so-called chairman and owner of the cooperative housing colony Hilal Ahmad Mir of Magarmal Bagh Srinagar.

Hilal, as per ACB, had moved an application to Secretary Cooperatives, Administrative Department of Co-operative Societies, seeking directions to J&K Cooperative Bank Ltd for grant of financial assistance to the tune of Rs 300 crores for taking over possession of 300 Kanals of land located in the outskirts of Srinagar for construction of a satellite township.

“The application was endorsed to Registrar Cooperative Societies J&K for taking up the matter with Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank. Accordingly  J&K Cooperative  Bank Srinagar  sanctioned loan to the tune of Rs 223 Crores  without  adhering to any codal formalities including not obtaining the details of the society viz. balance sheet, profit  and loss account, activities being done by the Society, PAN details, Income Tax return, details of Construction of the Board, Board Resolutions, etc,” said the ACB spokesperson.

During inquiry, it also surfaced that so-called Housing Society had not been even registered with Registrar Co-operative Societies, J&K .

“The Chairman of the so-called society Hilal Ahmad Mir by acting in league with Chairman of J&K Cooperative Bank Srinagar and others, has prepared fake and fictitious  registration certificates and managed the sanction of  loan amount to the tune of Rs 223 Crores,” the ACB spokesperson added.

“The acts of  omission and commission  on the part of Mohammad Shafi Dar Chairman  J&K State Co-operative Bank Raj Bagh  Srinagar and others in conspiracy with Hilal Ahmad  Mir constitute  the  offences punishable U/S 5(1)(d) r/w Section 5(2) P.C Act and Sections 465,467,468,471, 120-B  RPC, resulting in loss of Rs. 223 Crores  to the Bank.  Accordingly case FIR No. 04/2020 P/S ACB was  registered and investigation taken up,” he said.

“During the course of investigation residential houses /offices of the accused persons were searched by the teams of ACB Kashmir in pursuance to Search Warrants issued by the Hon’ble Court. The documents etc so seized from the said houses /offices are being perused/scrutinized. The investigation of case is going on,” he added.

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