Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NSEL scam: Cops arrest producer of ‘Satya 2’

Arun Kumar Sharma who directed movie Satya 2

Mateen Hafeez & Partha Sinha TNN

Mumbai: The city police’s economic offences wing (EOW), which is probing the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam, on Monday arrested Arun Kumar Sharma for defaulting on the repayment of Rs 159 crore he had borrowed earlier. Sharma is the producer of the recently released Bollywood movie “Satya 2” and also a director of Lotus Refineries, one of the biggest borrowers from the spot exchange. 

    Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said, “We have arrested Sharma for his involvement in the NSEL case. We have found some fake receipts with him.” Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of EOW, said, “He was called for questioning and later we arrested him once his role was established in the case. He had borrowed Rs 159 crore from NSEL, which is outstanding. His books of accounts suggest that they splurged the money on real
estate, decorating their office, etc.”
    Sharma invested money to produce “Satya 2” and “Dehradun Diary”. He invested up to Rs 15 crore in “Satya 2”. Talking about Sharma’s role, Sinha added, “The intention was to splurge money in non-productive areas and not to return the money.”
    Sinha said Sharma purchased an office in Worli for Rs 38 crore. He is said to have spent Rs 1 crore on furniture and Rs 10 lakh on furnishing it. “He created books of accounts showing all payments were made in advance for the goods he would receive. However, he could not produce the relevant papers to show the transactions and the deals,” added Sinha.
    Sharma’s company is one of the biggest borrowers in the NSEL scam with an outstanding aggregating to about Rs 252 crore when the scam broke. Interestingly, soon after NSEL had declared Lotus Refineries a defaulter, on September 30 Sharma had moved Bombay high court with a counter claim of Rs 2,773 crore from NSEL. In its suit, Lotus Refineries had alleged the NSEL officials had fudged bank statements relating to funds transfer through the RTGS mode, aggregating to Rs 1,704 crore.
    During the day, EOW also froze the immovable properties of three ex-employees of NSEL — Anjani Kumar Sinha, Amit Mukherjee and Jai Bahukhandi. The day also witnessed Joseph Massey and Shrikant Javalgekar, both top officials in the Financial Technologies (FTIL) group, being questioned by the police about their roles in the NSEL scam.

The Times of India, November 12, 2013

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