NEW DELHI: After being hoodwinked by Rotomac promoter Vikram Kothari for four days, the CBI on Thursday arrested the owner of the pen brand and his son Rahul in connection with the `3,695 crore loan scam involving a consortium of seven banks.
“The CBI arrested Vikram Kothari and Rahul Kothari, both Directors of M/s. Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd, Kanpur (UP), in an on-going investigation of a case on allegations of cheating a consortium of seven banks. The case was registered by CBI on a complaint filed by Bank of Baroda,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said in a statement.
“They were not cooperating during the interrogation,” Dayal said.
The CBI had earlier issued a Look Out Circular against the Kotharis in order to prevent them from fleeing the country.
During grilling by the sleuths, Vikram gave a tough time to the interrogators and told the CBI officials to go after fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and bring them back instead of focussing on him as he was in the country. Kothari also asked the interrogators to leave him alone so that he could earn money to repay the bad debts, said sources privy to the investigation.
“The 70-year-old controversial businessman really gave us a bad time and we were unable to make him sing. The arrests have been made to subject them to custodial interrogation to unravel the entire conspiracy,” said an official on conditions of anonymity.
The senior Kothari also claimed that he had a heart problem and he should not be exerted by sustained grilling as this could lead to his death, the sources said.
In order to confuse the CBI officers Vikram also told them stories.
In response to pointed questions by the sleuths, Kothari told them stories about his rise from a pen manufacturer to emergence as a business tycoon in Kanpur.
His usual tactic during the quizzing by the CBI officials was to keep the officials busy with narratives on his business ventures and considering his age, the officials avoided applying pressure tactics.
“My father Mansukhbhai Kothari used to sell coconut oil and other stationary items on footpaths of Kanpur in the sixties. My father subsequently ventured into pan masala manufacturing and then I launched Rotomac pen brand and bottled water brand “Yes”. The nation has given me and my family everything we wished and I just cannot contemplate fleeing from the country,” Vikram, the sources said, told the interrogators during a session of questioning this week.
The Kotharis were being questioned from Monday.