Yes Bank: CBI widens probe in fraud-hit YES Bank, may examine former LIC chairman GP Kohli

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday widened its probe into the fraud at bailed-out lender Yes Bank, seeking to investigate former Life Insurance Corp chairman GP Kohli, who was also an independent director at the defaulting shadow bank DHFL.

The Wadhawan brothers – Kapil and Dheeraj – and their now insolvent non-banking financial company DHFL are the co-accused in a cheating and money laundering case registered against Yes Bank cofounder Rana Kapoor. While CBI is probing the alleged criminal conspiracy and fraud caused to the private lender, officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing them for alleged money laundering.

The Wadhawans allegedly floated more than 100 shell companies to ‘roll over the funds’ taken from Yes Bank, said a top source.

“The accused have not revealed the real purpose of forming several shell companies and rolling of the funds,” the CBI argued before a special court on Wednesday.

Kohli has come under the scanner for the sanction of loans to related parties.

“Kohli was aware of these shell companies and the loan which was given by DHFL to DOIT Urban Ventures (India) Pvt Ltd (DUVPL), the company in which Kapoor’s daughters are directors,” said a person aware of the developments.

Hence, the agency has sought to probe the former DHFL director.

“The accused have not revealed the role of the other director GP Kohli (ex chairman of LIC of India) in sanctioning of the loan of Rs 600 crore to DUVPL,” the CBI told the court.

The Wadhawans’ legal team argued that further custody of the accused was not required, but the court ruled otherwise.

“This court agrees to the contention of CBI that even though the evidence is of documentary nature, they have to be confronted with the accused to understand their nature…Enquiry in respect of the role of some directors and other officers is yet to be completed,” special judge Anand Yawalkar said, granting CBI further custody of the Wadhawans until May 1.

The agency claimed that between April and June 2018, Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore in DHFL in the form of short-term debentures, and simultaneously Kapil Wadhawan allegedly paid a ‘kickback’ of Rs 600 crore to “Kapoor and his family members in the garb of a builder loan by DHFL to DUVPL, a wholly owned subsidiary of RAB Enterprises (India).”

An official at the agency said that “the loan of Rs 600 crore was given against substandard property, having a meagre value of around Rs 40 crore, and by considering further conversion from agriculture land to residential land… An inflated value of Rs 735 crore was shown.”

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