ED searches homes of former NSIC, Union Bank of India officers in Rs 173 crore bank fraud case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized fixed deposits worth Rs 1.04 crore after conducting searches at the residential premises of National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) officers and former employees of erstwhile United Bank of India in a fraud case, officials said.

Searches were conducted at the residential premises of Manik Lal Das (the then Zonal and Deputy General Manager of NSIC), Gopinath Bhattacharya (the then DGM of NSIC), Jayanta Das (the then Marketing Manager of NSIC), Manik Mohan Mishra (the then Manager, UBI) & Pradeep Kumar Gangopadhyay (the then Manager of UBI).

The Enforcement Directorate had recently arrested a West Bengal resident, Debabrata Haldar, for defrauding National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) of Rs 173.50 crore.

The ED raid is in connection with a case lodged against Sudhangshu Kumar Halder and others, for causing loss of Rs 173.50 crore to National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC).

In a search operation conducted earlier, the ED had seized one Toyota Fortuner, one Toyota Corola Altis, Rs 50 lakh in cash and jewellery worth Rs 18.4 lakhs were seized. An amount of Rs 3.95 crore, lying in the bank accounts of related fictitious MSME firms, too, were frozen under PMLA by the ED.

National Small Industries Corporation is a government of India enterprise under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). NSIC has been working to promote, aid and foster growth of micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.

ED had initiated the money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the West Bengal Police.

In this case, the probe is in connection with a total loss of Rs 173.50 crore to NSIC lent under its Raw Material Assistance Scheme (RMA Scheme) through criminal conspiracy by submitting Bank Guarantees (BGs) of other unconnected entities and fake BGs, purported to be issued by various branches of the erstwhile United Bank of India, Kolkata, which came to fore when these were enforced by NSIC.

The funds of NSIC, obtained under its RMA Scheme, were allegedly laundered and diverted through accounts of various fictitious supplier firms. An RMA scheme has been devised to provide credit facilities to various needy MSME firms.

“During the investigation, it was revealed that Debabrata Haldar, one of the main conspirators of the scam, acted as a middleman and main beneficiary of the whole scam. The accused has acquired various movable and immovable properties out of the proceeds of crime,” said the ED.