ED arrests educationist Vinay Aranha for fraudulently obtaining loans
According to ED, Aranha had obtained a loan of ₹20 crore from COSMOS Co-operative Bank. In its plea seeking his custody remand, the agency said, “The purpose for obtaining the loan was the renovation of the school, but it was never utilised for the said purpose
MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Vinay Aranha of Rosary Education Group, Pune in connection with a loan fraud case. Aranha allegedly splurged the loan amounts taken for the development of the group’s schools on events organised with Bollywood celebrities.
Aranha was produced before the special PMLA court on Friday and special judge MG Deshpande remanded him to ED custody till March 20.
“Huge public money, which is the wealth of the nation, is laundered by the accused and investigation thereof is at a very preliminary stage. The manner in which proceeds of crime - ₹20 crore had been generated, placed, layered and integrated requires confrontation of the accused with various other persons and therefore his custodial interrogation is necessary, without which the investigation will not attain finality.”
According to ED, Aranha had obtained a loan of ₹20 crore from COSMOS Co-operative Bank. In its plea seeking his custody remand, the agency said, “The purpose for obtaining the loan was the renovation of the school, but it was never utilised for the said purpose. On the contrary, the said huge loan was disbursed in the name of persons who gave quotations. Those persons were basically travel agents etc. and the quotations given by them for the work of school were found to be forged and fake.”
“It has also been unearthed during the investigation that Aranha has siphoned off public money to the tune of crores of rupees for his personal enrichment and for leading a lavish lifestyle. He has been leading a luxurious and high-flying lifestyle. He has hosted several events involving Bollywood celebrities. He has recklessly spent funds which were meant for the educational purposes of his schools. He has also spent lavishly in the purchase of several high-end luxury cars worth crores of rupees,” ED added in the remand application.
ED further claimed that Rajesh Shah, chief manager (recovery) of the bank has in his statement said that ₹46.50 crore was sanctioned to M/s Rosary Education Group through 7 loans for various reasons such as the renovation of schools, purchasing of movable assets and working capital and all the seven loan accounts were classified as Non-Performing Assets. He also claimed that Aranha submitted fabricated documents of properties as security.
“An amount of ₹21 crore involving 5 loan accounts were disbursed to the vendors such as M/s. Paramount Infrastructure, Shabbir Patanwala, Ashwin Kamat and M/s. Deepti Enterprises through RTGS/cheques either by Rosary Education Group or directly by the bank on request of M/s Rosary Group,” ED’s plea further quoted from the statement given by Shah to the agency.
The agency further said that analysis of the bank accounts of Rosary Education Group and the vendors revealed that the said loan amount was layered through various bank accounts. Subsequently, most of the funds were withdrawn in cash in the direction of Vinay Aranha, ED alleged.
Aranha also faces a probe in connection with the allegations of fraud, whereby he had obtained loans from Seva Vikas Co-operative Bank. The joint registrar (audit) after independent scrutiny allegedly found gross fraud and misappropriation of ₹429.6 crore spread across 126 NPA loan accounts. In the said case Aranha is granted anticipatory bail by the Bombay high court, the court was told on Friday.