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Rotomac Pen promoter Vikram Kothari denies fleeing country amid allegations of Rs 800 cr bank fraud

Vikram Kothari, however, on Sunday evening issued a statement saying he was very much in Kanpur and had met with the banks and the matter is pending with a tribunal.

Edited by: India TV Business Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: February 19, 2018 11:02 IST ]
Rotomac Pen promoter Vikram Kothari
Rotomac Pen promoter Vikram Kothari

After billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, Rotomac Global Private Limited’s chairman and MD Vikram Kothari has allegedly gone abroad after swindling Rs 800 crore from various public sector banks including Allahabad Bank, Bank of India and Union Bank of India.

Kothari, however, on Sunday evening issued a statement saying he was very much in Kanpur and had met with the banks and the matter is pending with a tribunal.

"First of all, don't call it a scam. Also, I am not leaving the country and I am very much in Kanpur. Banks have declared my company nonperforming asset (NPA), but not defaulter. The matter is still sub-judice with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). I have taken loans and will repay it all soon," he said.

According to news agency PTI, the Kanpur-based company's owner had taken a loan of more than Rs 800 crore from over five state-owned banks. It reported that Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Union Bank of India compromised their rules to sanction loans to Rotomac.

Also Read: PNB fraud case: Exclusive details on how Mehul Choksi siphoned off Rs 4886 crore in 60 days

Kothari took a loan of Rs 485 crore from Mumbai-based Union Bank of India and a loan of Rs 352 crore from Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank. A year later, Kothari has reportedly not paid back either the interest or the loan.

Last year, Bank of Baroda (BoB), a consortium partner declared pen manufacturer Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd as "wilful defaulter".

The company moved the Allahabad High Court seeking removal of its name from the list of wilful defaulter.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosle and Justice Yashwant Verma had passed the order on a petition filed by the company, contending that it has been wrongly declared a "wilful defaulter" by BoB despite having "offered assets worth more than Rs 300 crore to the bank since the date of default".

Rotomac was declared a wilful defaulter vide an order dated February 27, 2017 passed by an authorised committee, as per the procedure laid down by the Reserve Bank of India.

The development comes less than a week after Punjab National Bank (PNB) had detected a USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam wherein Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

The PNB fraud pertains to issuance of fake LoUs to companies associated with billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi by errant PNB employees, which enabled these companies to raise buyers credit from international branches of other Indian lenders.

Last month, PNB had lodged an FIR with CBI stating that fraudulent LoUs worth Rs 280.7 crore were first issued on January 16. At the time, PNB had said it was digging into records to examine the magnitude of the fraud.

In the complaint, PNB had named three diamond firms - Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds - saying they had approached it on January 16 with a request for buyers credit for making payment to overseas suppliers.

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