New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has conducted searches in the premises of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited, its directors, promoters and their associates in multiple locations, including Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Orissa, in connection with a Rs 2,348 crore bank fraud case.

"It was alleged that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with unknown public servants and others to cheat banks/financial institutions/govt exchequer. In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the accused fraudulently diverted a huge amount of bank funds through companies/shell companies/entities etc and deliberately defaulted in repayment and also claimed inadmissible CENVAT credit etc," sources claimed.

The fraud case, according to the sleuths, resulted in a loss of Rs 2,348 crore (approx) for the lending banks/financial institutions/govt exchequer.

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An investigation also revealed that the money was transferred from loan accounts of Punjab National Bank (IFB New Delhi & IFB Chandigarh), Oriental Bank of Commerce (Kolkata), IDBI Bank (Kolkata) and UCO Bank (IFB Kolkata) to accounts of various shell companies, which was later misused by Bhushan Steel.

"It was further alleged that the said company availed various loan facilities from 33 banks/financial institutions during the year 2007 to 2014 to the tune of Rs 47,204 crore (approx) and defaulted on repayments. Subsequently, lead bank PNB declared the account as NPA followed by other banks and financial institutions," said the CBI.