HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at six locations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on 29 November under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in connection with the investigation into a fraudulent sanction of loans under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to farmers for construction of fish tanks.
The agency stated that it initiated investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI, ACB, Visakhapatnam, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, alleging large-scale fraud at the IDBI Bank branch, Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in connection with processing and sanctioning of short term loans /KCC to pisciculture farmers for the construction of ponds/tanks.
The ED investigation revealed that the accused persons took KYC documents, blank cheques etc., from their employees, known persons, farmers etc., on the pretext of salary payment through banking channels, medical reimbursement, provident fund, etc. On the basis of these documents, they took loans in their names to the tune of Rs 311.05 crore with the connivance of bank officials and valuers. The loan amounts credited into the accounts of workers, farmers, etc. were transferred to the accused persons’ accounts and in many cases, the entire loan amount was withdrawn in cash.
The accused persons thus acted as loan aggregators and ultimately used the loan amounts for their personal gains including investment in their businesses and acquisition of properties in the names of family members and other persons.
The searches were conducted at the residences and office premises of loan aggregators which resulted in the recovery and seizure of digital devices and incriminating documents revealing numerous immovable/movable properties acquired from the proceeds of crime.