UCO Bank's shares slip 14% on loan fraud claims

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In response to a clarification regarding a news item titled, "CBI books ex-UCO Bank CMD in ₹621-crore cheating case", sought by the stock exchanges, the bank clarified that it filed a complaint with CBI on April 11 against Era Infra. Ltd. among others, they said.

In the UCO Bank case, Reuters reported that CBI charged Kaul and several officials and accountants at the two companies with criminal conspiracy with an intention to defraud the bank of about Rs 621 crore by diverting and siphoning loans.

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Kaul, who was the CMD of a Kolkata-based bank between 2010 and 2015, allegedly facilitated the accused company in obtaining the loan, they said. After filing the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) reportedly conducted searches at over 10 places in Delhi and Mumbai, including Kaul's residence, the premises of chartered accountants and the two firms. "It is alleged that the loan was not used for the sanctioned purposes and was secured by producing false end-use certificates issued by the chartered accountants and by fabricating business data", said an official. After the loan was disbursed, it is alleged that nearly the entire amount was diverted for unsanctioned purposes.

Shares of the state-run bank closed at Rs 20.90 per scrip - down 6.49 per cent - from its previous session's close. It was found that the company did not utilize the amount for the objective for which it was disbursed and diverted the funds. It was for the goal of repayment of its high-cost debt pertaining to the Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, IFCI and other creditors.

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The loan accounts were declared non-performing assets in July 2013.

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