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After the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against the promoter of Rotomac pens, Vikram Kothari, and his family members in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 36.95 billion, officials said today.
They added that the agency had lodged the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after studying the CBI FIR that was registered yesterday.
The ED, the officials said, would probe if the funds obtained through the alleged fraud were laundered and if the proceeds of the crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.
The CBI case was registered against Kanpur-based Rotomac Global Private Limited, its director Vikram Kothari, his wife Sadhana Kothari, son Rahul Kothari and unidentified bank officials on a complaint received from the Bank of Baroda, the probe agency had said.
The CBI had also carried out searches at three locations in Kanpur, including the residence and office premises of Kothari. It is understood that ED sleuths had also accompanied the CBI officials during the operation.
It was alleged in the Bank of Baroda complaint that the conspirators had cheated a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 36.95 billion, including the interest component.
The principal amount involved is Rs 29.19 billion
This is the second major bank fraud to surface in the recent past after the sensational Rs 114-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, allegedly committed by diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who is a promoter of the Gitanjali Group of companies.
Both Modi and Choksi have fled the country.