Srinagar: The J&K Anti Corruption Bureau has arrested the accused in the whopping Rs 223 crore fraud that surfaced in J&K Co-operative Bank earlier this year and has recovered Rs 187 crore of the siphoned money, a spokesperson of the bureau said on Monday.

The accused Hilal Ahmad Mir of Magarmal Bagh in Srinagar was, as per ACB, arrested on May 14.

According to ACB, Mir in connivance with the officials at J&K Co-operative Bank was able to get a loan of Rs 223 crore sanctioned in favour of his non-existent co-operative Society under the name ‘River Jhelum Co-operative House Colony at Shivpora Srinagar.’

The loan amount was disbursed into the accounts of the land owners but the land has not been mortgaged to the bank, the bureau said.

“Further, investigation conducted by the Bureau has been successful in unearthing the siphoned out funds to the tune of Rs 223 crores and amount to tune of Rs 187 Crore have been frozen by ACB,” the spokesperson said.

Mir, he added, was arrested on May 14 “to effect the recovery of documents required in the case which are purportedly lying in their possession and also to unearth the modus operandi, and the end use of funds and quid pro quo if any obtained.”

“He was remanded to police custody till 18-05-2020.  The interrogation of the accused person is in progress to ascertain further leads in the matter. More arrests are likely as the investigation progresses in this case,” the spokesperson added.

In March this year, ACB had registered a case against the J&K Co-operative Bank Chairman Mohammad Shafi Dar and others after its primary investigation revealed that Dar, in connivance with the officials and the beneficiary, had sanctioned amount of Rs 223.00 crores fraudulently in favour of Mir.

Hilal, as per ACB, had moved an application to Secretary Cooperatives, Administrative Department of Co-operative Societies, seeking directions to J&K Cooperative Bank Ltd for grant of financial assistance to the tune of Rs 300 crores for taking over possession of 300 Kanals of land located in 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 loan to the tune of Rs 223 Crores  without  adhering to any codal formalities including not obtaining the details of the society viz. balance sheet, profit  and loss account, activities being done by the Society, PAN details, Income Tax return, details of Construction of the Board, Board Resolutions, etc,” said the ACB spokesperson.

During inquiry, it also surfaced that so-called Housing Society had not been even registered with Registrar Co-operative Societies, J&K.

“The Chairman of the so-called society Hilal Ahmad Mir by acting in league with Chairman of J&K Cooperative Bank Srinagar and others, has prepared fake and fictitious registration certificates and managed the sanction of loan amount to the tune of Rs 223 Crores,” the ACB spokesperson added.