Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CBI raids in Srinagar

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) today conducted simultaneous raided at four places—three in Srinagar and one at New Delhi—in connection with Rs 12 crore worth loan scam in Srinagar branch of the State Bank of India (SBI).

During raids, the CBI came across a number of bank accounts, computers, passbooks and other documents, the preliminary scrutiny of which indicated that the scam would run into several crores, beyond Rs 12 crore projected by the investigating agency so far.

Official sources told the Excelsior that separate teams of CBI simultaneously conducted raids at the premises of a noted Central Government contractor Syed Afaq Mehraj, proprietor of M/s JK Sam Constructions Private Limited, Srinagar at his residence-cum-official premises at Kolipora, Khanyar, Nowshera in downtown Srinagar, M/s Sainko Trading Centre and Exhibition Crossing, Airport Road, Srinagar and Saket, New Delhi.

Raids were going on till late tonight.

Sources said the CBI had so far seized documents pertaining to banking and financial transactions of Mehraz worth crores with various other nationalized and private banks, passbooks of accounts, computers containing data and many more documents from all four places, raided today.

Following seizure of a large number of incriminating documents, the CBI has directed the bank to freeze bank accounts and lockers of Mehraj and didn’t allow their operation till cleared by the investigators.

Sources said Mehraj had obtained Rs 12 crore worth loan from SBI Srinagar for carrying out construction works under Prime Minister’s Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). He neither carried out the construction works nor refunded the loan amount and turned defaulter to the bank.

Investigations by the CBI revealed that the contractor had submitted fake documents including mortgages, land papers etc.

"The Bank officials, who were at the helm of affairs at the time of sanction of loan, have also come under scrutiny as they didn’t verify the fake documents’’, sources said, adding that the Bank officials could be arrested. The contractor was recently granted bail by the court.

Sources said the CBI has obtained various leads during today’s simultaneous raids at four places, which indicated that Mehraj had taken loan from various other banks also and turned defaulters.

The documents would be pursued after culmination of the raids, they said, adding that the raids were expected to conclude at midnight tonight after which record seized from four places would be clubbed together and scrutinized by the raiding parties.

Sources said the banks have been asked to freeze all accounts of the contractor. These accounts would be scrutinized. The lockers, which have been sealed, will be opened in next few days and some recoveries were expected.

The CBI teams, which conducted the raids comprised Rajbir Singh, DySP, Rafique Ahmad, Malik Zada Idrees, Rouf Bashir Bhat and RS Sodhi, Inspectors of CBI Srinagar and other officials under the supervision of KL Raina, SP CBI Srinagar.

A case in the scam has already been registered for further investigations.

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