CBI books Totem Infrastructure in Rs 13.94-bn bank loan fraud case

The CBI has booked a Hyderabad-based construction and infrastructure company for allegedly defrauding a consortium of eight banks to the tune of over Rs 13.94 billion, officials said on Thursday.

Totem Infrastructure Ltd, which worked as a sub-contractor for several major infrastructure companies, and its promoters Tottempudi Salalith and Tottempudi Kavita were named in a CBI FIR, registered on the basis of a complaint from the Union Bank of India, one of the eight banks, they said.

The company figured in the list of the biggest tax defaulters released by the Income Tax Department in 2015 with an outstanding tax of over Rs 4 billion.

The I-T department had in 2015 also announced a reward of up to Rs 15 lakh to informants for tracing the company, calling it "untraceable", and other defaulters in the list.

The bank also alleged that the promoters were untraceable, but the agency managed to track them down at their new place of residence and carried out searches there today, the officials said.

The CBI also issued a Look Out Circular against the promoters to prevent them from leaving the country and tracking their movements, they said.

The bank alleged in the complaint that it suffered a loss of Rs 3.13 billion as the loans given to the company had become NPA in June, 2012.

They said the total dues towards the consortium stand at Rs 13.9 billion.

It is alleged that the loans taken from the banks for various projects were diverted for purposes other than they were meant for and to personal accounts of the promoters.