New Delhi: Investigations into the high-profile IL&FS fraud has showed that the then CEO of the group’s financial services arm IFIN helped a senior director of a leading rating agency buy a duplex villa worth crores at a discount when an important circuitous transaction with a defaulter borrower was underway in 2012-13.The probe by the government’s white-collar crime probe agency SFIO has already unearthed connivance of auditors and independent directors with the then top management of IFIN (IL&FS Financial Services Ltd) in defrauding the company. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCIFIN and several other group companies have been found to have indulged in multiple circuitous transactions involving several illegalities including fast disbursals to some borrowers despite their bad track record in servicing existing loans and also delayed recoveries. As per the investigation report, which is part of the first chargesheet filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), IFIN and other entities from the IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) group continued to enjoy high ratings from various rating agencies, including due to window-dressing of the company books. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsAs per the report, a part of a loan disbursed to SIVA Group was used by the borrower to pay IFIN for the liabilities arising out of a debt syndication fee. This fee was paid by SIVA group to IFIN for services rendered by IFIN for debt restructuring carried out by the company. The probe showed that in the year 2012-13, SIVA Ventures had an outstanding liability against Unitech, while an outstanding loan of IFIN to Unitech was also overdue. The SFIO probe has revealed that the IFIN top management decided to bail out SIVA group by funding the repayment of the liabilities of Unitech towards SIVA Ventures. Accordingly, sanction and disbursal of Rs 125 crore was done to Unitech group to help them clear their dues to Siva of approximately Rs 80 crore and consecutively Siva to clear loans of IFIN. In this transaction, IFIN not only self-funded their advisory income of Rs 8 crore but also granted additional loans of approximately Rs 45 crore. However, post completion of transaction, on Siva group’s request, it was allowed to utilise a major portion of the loan, approximately Rs 40 crore, to close a loan of Union Bank of India. This was done in consideration of a mandate of restructuring from Siva group to IFIN with a fee of Rs 12.5 crore. “Further, in the interim of this transaction, Ramesh Bawa (who was then CEO and MD of IFIN) also assisted a senior director in Fitch Ratings, Singapore, who appears to be involved in rating of ILFS in buying a duplex villa of Rs 4.25 crore at a discounted price of Rs 3.25 crore,” as per the probe report. When contacted, a Fitch Ratings spokesperson said, “We are unable to comment on it.” According to the website of IFIN, its borrowing programme was rated by renowned rating agencies – Credit Analysis and Research Ltd (CARE), Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Ltd (ICRA) and India Ratings & Research Pvt Ltd (FITCH). It also said IFIN enjoyed “the top notch credit rating for its long term and short term borrowing programme”. The website further mentions FITCH had assigned a national rating of ‘AAA(ind)’ to Long Term Borrowing programme and ‘F1+(ind)’ to Short Term Borrowing Programme of the company, which denotes the highest degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations and carry lowest credit risk.
…to CabinetA couple of days ago, your Eyewitness referred to the Communities Minister’s recommendation to the City Council to suspend the Parking Meter Contract for three months. He pointed out this had to be a directive from the very top of the power pyramid of the PNC – forget about the AFC and those half-men outfits in APNU! And he predicted the decision by City Council would show “who had more seed than baigan”!!Well…now we know!! And it ain’t Bulkan – but that we already knew, didn’t we? If central casting ever wanted a faceless, seedless apparatchiki, this former lumber salesman is their guy!! Now that the Councillors of City Hall – played like a violin by maestro Royston King – have given the middle finger to the suggestion, it’s clear they believe they’re more well-endowed, seedwise, than any big kahuna over in Congress Place. During the special meeting convened by the Deputy Mayor to discuss Cabinet’s recommendation, he took pains to say the well-endowed Mayor was away, and matters will have to await her return.As to who’s the PNC leader City Hall is willing to buck…we won’t speculate save to say if the point’s even up for discussion, things aren’t what they seem! So the question is…who’s gonna blink first? That’ll give us an inkling of the of the PNC’s power topography.In the meantime, their lawyer – from the same chambers handling Smart City’s interest!!! – advised them as to their options in a six-page memo, which the dissenters claim they need time “to study”. One “option” of course was to face the “terror clause” which the Gang of Four signed. That, of course, basically pledged the first-born of this and the next generation be handed over to Smart City as bonded labour to pay off the debt we would’ve accrued!Evidently the question of “conflict of interest” doesn’t arise with City Hall and Smart City using the same law firm. As we know, all lawyers have “split personalities” and each personality REALLY doesn’t know of the existence of the others! Anyhow back to the matter at hand – which had to do with the testicular attributes of the City Hall Gang of Four, versus that of the PNC top honchos.In the estimation of your bemused Eyewitness, these PNC folks are sooo deep in the mire of corruption that birthed this contract from hell…there’s no way, it will be cancelled – as the protesters are demanding. What’s most likely is there will be some further “compromises” that really won’t amount to squat in the long-term.We’ll still be getting it in the end!…to sugar workersIf there was any doubt where this Government stands vis a vis sugar workers, two news items on the industry in yesterday’s newspapers should’ve cleared them up. Just as happened at Wales, the workers at East Demerara Estates have to read between the lines of anonymous decisions by GuySuCo operatives to get a glimmer of their fate. Why talk directly to them? What’d they know? They’re only cane cutters!! So we now can figure East Demerara sugar will be shuttered in three to four years? How’d we know that? Well… they’ve ordered no new canes be planted there – so when the standing stock are ratooned out in three to four years, it’s “sayonara time”, baby!!The other item was the CEO – who presided over the demise of the industry as a big honcho of Booker Tate – excruciatingly parsing the labour laws to claim GuySuCo doesn’t owe severance pay to workers transferred out of their 10-mile zone!!But not to worry…Nagamootoo says, it’s gonna be aw’right!…the criminal lawPublic Security Minister – and a (criminal!) lawyer to boot – Khemraj Ramjattan, says pharma contracts to NEW GPC under the PPP were like “kick down the door banditry”.So, are the present rental of the Pharma warehouse and the sole sourced contracts to ANSA and others drug-induced aggravated rape?? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: The beat goes on…September 9, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Smart fliesMarch 18, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Holding the line…March 20, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”