The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Manoj Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal -- promoters of a major mining company Abhijeet Group -- along with a TL Pai, former DGM of Canara Bank for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 290 crore to the bank. Jayaswal is considered to be close to Lokmat Group of Newspapers Chairman and MD and former MP Vijay Darda. The arrest has sent shock waves in the industrial circles in Nagpur.
According to CBI sources, investigation indicated that it is a “large-scale scam” in which 13 companies of Abhijeet Group took loans from over 20 banks and financial institutions which allegedly turned into non-performing assets since 2014 resulting in outstanding loans of Rs 11,000 crore.
“The agency has arrested promoters of Abhijeet Group Manoj Jayaswal and Abhishek Jayaswal and TL Pai, a former DGM of Canara Bank for defrauding Canara and Vijaya banks of Rs 290 crore,” CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said.
The agency registered a case in 2015 against the accused for alleged criminal conspiracy and cheating.
An alleged loss to the tune of around Rs 218.85 crore to Canara Bank and around Rs 71.92 crore to Vijaya Bank was caused, the CBI had said after filing the FIR.
The agency acted on the complaint of both the public sector banks alleging that the accused perpetrated fraud of around Rs 290.77 crore by fraudulently availing line of credit facility during the 2011-13 period, it had said.
The CBI had framed charges against Vijay Darda and his son Devendra in connection with the coal scam. The friendship between Jayaswal and Darda is known in political and social circles in Nagpur. Jayaswal had purchased a coal block in the name of Darda’s JLD Yavatmal Energy Private Limited in Chhattisgarh. A CBI team is probing into Jayaswal’s role in this case.
Jayaswal is closely connected with many political leaders and is a prominent face in Nagpur. However, after his name cropped up in the coal scam, his clout in political circles received a big jolt. Abhijeet Group has many companies including JSL Infrastructure, AMR Iron & Steels and has investment worth several crores of rupees in various sectors including road development, energy, steel and mineral mining. The company had a captive plant in Mihan project that was shut down.
Five years ago, Jayaswal’s son’s wedding reception was held at Surabardi Lawns with much pomp and fair.
Many political leaders, top officers from several banks had attended this function. Jayaswal had in his possession a 10-seater private airplane. He had secured a loan from IDBI to purchase the same. He was the first industrialist to own a private airplane in Nagpur. However, Jayaswal discontinued its use after his name cropped up in the coal scam. The airplane remained stationed at Nagpur Airport. To recover loan amount and parking charges, Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) and IDBI carried out auction of this plane.