After the CBI and the ED, the Income Tax Department has stepped up action against the Rotomac group and its promoters attaching 14 bank accounts in connection with an alleged tax evasion probe against them, officials said today. While 11 accounts, that are in various bank branches in Uttar Pradesh, were attached last night, three were put under similar prohibitory orders last month, they said. The provisional attachment action has been carried out to “recover outstanding tax demands”, understood to be about Rs 85 crore, they said. They added that while the 11 accounts frozen last night are in the name of the Rotomac group, the rest three are in the name of the Kothari family.
The Kanpur-based group is being probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 3,695 crore, given by a consortium of seven banks. The CBI had registered a criminal case against Rotomac Global Pvt Limited, its director Vikram Kothari, his wife Sadhana Kothari and son Rahul Kothari and unidentified bank officials on a complaint received from Bank of Baroda and conducted raids against them yesterday. It was alleged in the complaint from the Bank of Baroda that conspirators cheated a consortium of bank loans to the tune of Rs 3,695 crore including the interest component, CBI officials said. The principal amount involved was Rs 2,919 crore. The ED subsequently registered a money laundering case against them.
The ED will probe if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and these proceeds of crime subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money. This is the second major financial scam to break out after the sensational Rs 11,400 crore fraud allegedly committed by billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who is a promoter of Gitanjali group of companies. Both left the country before the Punjab National Bank realised the seriousness of the alleged crime.