The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday attached assets worth Rs. 30 crores of Subhra Jyoti Bharali, erstwhile managing director of Assam-based Industrial Cooperative Bank Ltd. as part of a money laundering investigation.
The ED had earlier arrested Bharali in June this year and action has been taken against him in connection to a financial fraud with the bank.
Additionally, a provisional order for attaching the assets was also issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED in a statement said, the assets includes 87,70,000 shares of Sashi Kumar Tea Company Pvt. Ltd. (SKTCPL) and corresponding/proportionate immovable properties like a tea estate in Simlitola, Goalpara owned by SKTCPL and agricultural land in Rani, Kamrup (rural) worth a total of Rs 30.5 crores.
The ED said, “Exorbitant amounts were credited in accounts maintained in the names of payment collectors and field executives of ICBL in the guise of salary, incentive and travelling allowance.”
The agency alleged, “All the accounts maintained with ICBL in the names of these people were operated by Bharali and a substantial part of the amount received as salary, incentive and travelling allowance in their accounts was misappropriated either by the way of cash withdrawal or by transfer to the accounts maintained in the names of entities, family members, accomplices and others, beneficially owned, controlled and operated by Bharali.”
The ED also alleged that an amount over Rs. 4.5 crores was extracted from ICBL by disbursing overdraft loan, vehicle loan, and plant and machinery loan in the names of 11 “unworthy” creditors.
Moreover, loan that was sanctioned to the Self-Help Group (SHG) was also collected as fixed deposit in Asomi Thrift & Credit Co-operative Society Ltd. (ATCCSL). The entire proceeds of this amount were “siphoned off and utilised” by Bharali, according to the agency allegations.
The money laundering case was investigated following an FIR filed against Bharali in Panbazar Police Station on charges of “committing financial misappropriation of the funds of the bank.”