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PMC Bank ex-Chairman in police custody till Oct 9

By The Assam Tribune

MUMBAI, Oct 6 - A Mumbai magistrate on Sunday remanded the arrested ex-Chairman of the crisis-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank Ltd, S. Waryam Singh, to police custody till October 9, officials said.

Waryam Singh, who was nabbed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police from his hiding place in Mahim late on Saturday, was produced before the Esplanade Magistrate Court on Sunday.

The police said that he will be interrogated for his prima facie involvement in the alleged Rs 4,355 crore fraud case concerning the Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).

The police informed the court that they wanted to confront him with the other accused in the case since he was the PMC Bank Chairman and also the Executive Director of HDIL simultaneously.

Waryam Singh's lawyer V. Krishna argued that his client had surrendered on his own will and it was being falsely propagated that he was arrested by the police.

Krishna added that Waryam Singh had no role to play in the the day-to-day affairs of the bank which were managed by its arrested former Managing Director Joy Thomas and was merely signing documents.

"My client only used to sign the documents. He had no role in the loans sanctioned. All the documents are in the custody of the EOW and the administrator appointed by the RBI," Krishna contended.

Waryam Singh, 68, was missing since the irregularities in the PMC Bank tumbled out two weeks ago, and was traced to a location in Mahim where he was in hiding, the police said on Saturday.

Waryam Singh is the fourth important arrest in the PMC Bank case after Thomas, who was arrested on Friday. Earlier on Thursday, the police nabbed HDIL Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, respectively, and their assets worth Rs 3,500 crore were frozen, including official and personal accounts.

The arrests came after the EOW registered a case last Monday against the PMC Bank and the HDIL for causing alleged losses worth Rs 4,355 crore to the bank between 2008 and 2019 in the Bhandup branch.

The Mumbai Police FIR has named Thomas, Waryam Singh, the Wadhwans and other officials and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to probe the case.

On September 24, the RBI slapped six-month sanctions on PMC Bank, restraining it from carrying out a majority of its routine businesses, sparking huge panic among the depositors and stunning the banking and corporate circles ahead of the festival season.

Simultaneously, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) entered the picture last Friday by launching separate investigation for money-laundering and carried out raids in six locations in Mumbai, besides making seizures of various movable assets of the HDIL top brass.

ED sources said that an enforcement case investigation report, equivalent to a police FIR, was lodged following a complaint by PMC Bank's Manager (recovery department) claiming that over 21,000 fictitious accounts were created to suppress the stressed loan accounts of HDIL, flouting the Reserve Bank of India norms. - IANS

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