New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday issued a lookout notice against Bhushan Steel chairman Sanjay Singhal and his wife and vice chairman Aarti Singhal in a loan fraud case worth Rs 2,348 crore.

According to the agency, a case was registered against them and company director Ravi Prakash Goyal, Ram Naresh Yadav and others along with unknown government servants. They are accused of diverting funds of Rs 2,348 crore from the account of Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (Kolkata), IDBI Bank (Kolkata) and UCO Bank (Kolkata) to the accounts of different firms, including some shell companies. 

The CBI in its FIR alleged that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy and misused the funds.

Also read: CBI raids Bhushan Power and Steel's offices for Rs 2,348 crore bank fraud

The CBI also claimed that “the company availed various loan facilities from 33 banks and financial institutions between 2007 and 2014 to the tune of Rs 47,204 crore and defaulted on repayments”. Subsequently, the lead bank PNB declared the account as non-performing asset (NPA). Other banks and institutions followed. 

“It was also alleged that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with unknown public servants of banks and others to cheat banks. In furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy, the accused dishonestly and fraudulently diverted huge amount of bank funds through companies/shell companies/entities etc. and deliberately defaulted in repayment and also claimed inadmissible CENVAT credit etc,” the CBI said in the statement.

Similarly, in another case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the investigators are likely to question former ICICI chairman Chanda Kochhar. Sources said loans of over Rs 2,000 crore were disbursed by ICICI Bank when Kochhar was the bank’s CEO. 

The ED will also probe loans given to Jaypee Group when Kochhar was the CEO. The ED is investigating alleged suspicious transactions under the Money Laundering Act.