Three booked on businessman BR Shetty’s Rs 4 crore cheating plaint

Former staff of Unimoni Financial Service Ltd diverted money using forged signatures
Representational Image
Representational Image

KOCHI: Karnataka-born and UAE-based businessman B R Shetty has been in the limelight following the Muddy Waters report regarding dues worth billions of dollars his companies owed to major banks in India and abroad. Now, a case has been registered in Kochi on the basis of a complaint lodged by Shetty against his senior employees alleging cheating and diversion of funds.

The case was registered at Ernakulam Central police station on January 21 this year raising charges of criminal breach of trust by employees, cheating, forgery, forgery for the purpose of cheating, dishonestly using forged documents and criminal conspiracy. Shetty has used his company’s address — Unimoni Financial Services Limited, Chettupuzha Building, PT Usha Road, Kochi — in the complaint.

As per the complaint, the cheating had taken place between 2000 and 2019. The FIR names Prashanth Mangat, his brother Promoth Mangat and one Sureshkumar, who were CEO-ranked officers in the firm, as the accused. “The accused persons who were employees of Unimoni Financial Service Limited, with the intention to cheat and earn a profit, used forged signatures and diverted Rs 4.06 crore.

The accused transferred the amount to their bank accounts and caused losses to the complainant,” stated the FIR. The case is probed by station house officer S Vijaya Shankar. According to sources, the police would be recording the statements of the complainant and accused persons to check the facts stated in the complaint.

“Unimoni is the same firm which had operated as UAE Exchange till a couple of years back. We have come to know that B R Shetty has given a complaint against Mangat brothers in other states alleging cheating that took place in other firms like the NMC hospital chain. Shetty is currently based in Bengaluru. His business is mostly in West Asian countries. The case is registered based on the complaint and further investigation is required,” a police officer said.

Shetty moved to the UAE from Karnataka in 1973 as a healthcare professional and established NMC Group, which became one of the biggest healthcare providers in the region. Shetty has promoted several companies in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, healthcare and foreign exchange business. He stepped down from the management and handed over the companies to the respective officers between 2015 and 2017. Over 30 cases have been registered against Shetty in the UAE and four others in India.

California-based research firm Muddy Waters has disclosed in its report that NMC Health may have understated its debt by at least $4.5 billion. Muddy Waters came up claiming that Shetty’s companies — NMC Health and Finablr — have been found involved in financial misgivings and flouting corporate governance rules.

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