Friday, May 12, 2017

Fresh trouble for lounge owner, held in Rs 9 crore FD scam



 
Mohammed Fasih



Mumbai: The city economic offences wing (EOW) earlier this week arrested Mohammed Fasih, chairman and managing director of the Showman Group that runs the countrywide Sheesha lounge chain, and his associate Santosh Gadge, in connection with a Rs 8.96 crore fixed deposit cash-credit scam.
Fasih and Gadge, 42, were produced before a court and remanded in police custody till May 15. A Bank of India manager had filed a police complaint alleging cheating by Fasih and others. While police arrested Gadge in Mumbai, Fasih was taken into custody from Taloja jail, where he has been lodged for the last three years in other Fixed Deposits and Overdraft Facility (FDOD) cases.
“The money kept in the bank belonged to SIES. We have arrested Fasih and his accountant, Gadge. Our probe is on,“ said an officer. Fasih is facing around half-a-dozen FDOD cases registered with the city EOW and CBI involving around Rs 800 crore.

The accused had a common modus operandi in all cases. One of their associates would approach any educational institution, religious trust, hospital etc and ask them to deposit their money as fixed deposit in nationalized banks, with the promise of higher returns than are normally offered. Once the FDs would mature, Fasih and his aides would take an overdraft facility from the bank by forging papers and would not return the money . In some cases, the accused even opened bank accounts with names similar to that of the depositors and transferred the money fetched through overdraft facility .
In December 2014, the EOW had arrested three officers of Dhanlaxmi Bank for their alleged role in a separate Rs 141 crore FDOD ca se involving Fasih. Investiga tors had earlier said the three bank officers did not check do cuments while granting the overdraft facility.

In a separate case, Abhay Shah, MD of Ms P G Group, lodged an FIR with Marine Drive police on July 28, 2014, and the case was transferred to EOW . Police found Avinash Khandale, Fasih's associate, had approached the P G Group's office and offered high returns on FDs in nationalized banks. Four firms run by the group collectively put Rs 141.8 crore in FDs. The accused then forged papers and using them, took a cash-credit facility loan from the bank. In cash-credit, a loan can be obtained up to 90 per cent of total investment.


The Times of India, May 12, 2017

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