ACB nabs former JK Cooperative Bank head

Days after issuing lookout notice, Anti Corruption Bureau Wednesday arrested former chairman of J&K Cooperative Bank Ltd, Muhammad Shafi Dar in the alleged Rs 223 crore bank loan fraud.

“Dar who was evading arrest since the registration of the case, was today arrested and taken into custody. His interrogation is going on,” ACB spokesperson said in a statement.

The ACB Jammu, according to the statement, has conducted a preliminary enquiry into the alleged fraud.

It said: “Dar in connivance with the officials/beneficiary of a non-existent cooperative house building society had sanctioned Rs 223 crore fraudulently in favour of the said society under the name and style of a River Jhelum Cooperative House Colony at Shivpora Srinagar run by one Hilal Ahmad Mir son of Sana-ullah Mir of Magarmal Bagh Srinagar, beneficiary.”

According to ACB, during the preliminary investigation, it was further revealed that “the so called chairman of the society had moved an application to secretary cooperatives, administration department of cooperative societies, where under he sought directions to the J&K Cooperative Bank Ltd for grant of financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 300 crore for taking over possession of 300 kanals of land located on the outskirts of Srinagar for construction of a Satellite Township.

“The application was endorsed to Registrar Cooperative Societies J&K for taking up the matter with Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Bank.

“Accordingly, J&K Cooperative Bank Srinagar sanctioned a loan to the tune of Rs 223 crore without adhering to any codal formalities, i.e. obtaining the details of the Society viz. Balance Sheet, Profit and loss Account business, activities being done by the Society, PAN No., Income Tax return, details of Construction of the Board Resolutions, etc.

“During enquiry it also surfaced that River Jhelum Cooperative House Building Society has not been even registered with Registrar Cooperative Societies J&K. The chairman of the so called Society, Hilal Ahmad Mir by acting in league with chairman J&K Cooperative Bank Srinagar and others had prepared a fake and fictitious Registration Certificate in the name of society and managed the sanction of loan to the amount of Rs. 223 crore.

“The acts of omission and commission on the part of Muhammad Shafi Dar chairman J&K State Cooperative Bank, Raj Bagh, Srinagar and others in conspiracy with Hilal Ahmad Mir constitute and offences punishable u/s 5(1)(d) r/w section 5(2) P.C. Act and sections 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B RPC, resulting in loss of Rs. 223 crore to the Bank.

“Accordingly, FIR No. 04/2020 P/S ACB was registered and investigation taken up,” the statement said.