Sivasankaran, who defrauded IDBI of Rs 600 cr, flees after CBI diluted his LoC
In what seems to be repetition of Vijay Mallya's case in which he fled country after defrauding Indian banks after his LoC was diluted, the Look-out-Circular against C Sivasankaran, accuses of defrauding IDBI bank to the tune of Rs 600 crore, was diluted by the CBI helping him to flee the country.
India Today has accessed the internal notes of Central Bureau of Investigation in which the Investigative Officer (from whom the case was later taken away) had instructed against the dilution of LoC. But the LoC was downgraded and he fled the country.
After reference from CVC, in a major crackdown against bank fraud, the CBI in April this year filed case against Aircel founder C Sivasankaran and three companies -- Axcel Sunshine Limited (British Virgin Islands) and Win Wind Oy (Finland) and 15 IDBI bank officials for defrauding the bank to the tune of Rs 600 crore.
Top officials of CBI had then told India Today that, "In this case, bank never approached us to file a complaint. Top officials of IDBI bank helped the accused to defraud bank of Rs 600 crore."
According the notes accessed by India Today, the plot to allegedly give relief to C Sivasankaran began in August when the case was transferred from Bank Securities and Fraud Cell (BS&FC), Bangalore, to the Anti Corruption Unit 3, Delhi.
In a circular dated August, 16, 2018, the case transferred from Banglore to Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG, CBI and heading the Anti-Corruption unit 3 at Headquarter in Delhi. The circular was later confirmed on August 27, 2018.
C Sivasankaran was questioned by the CBI on August 12, four days before the case was transferred.
Sources say that Sivasankaran later approached the CBI that he wants to go abroad on September, 03, 2018 and requested the agency to dilute the LoC against him to which the then top boss of CBI asked for opinion from the previous Investigative officer who was handling the case in Banglore.
In his opinion, the officer stated that, "The option exercised in the LOC dated May 22, 2018 is to prevent subject (C Sivasankaran) from leaving India and inform originator. As the accused C Sivasankaran has mention that the matter is of national importance, it is submitted that this correspondent and request made by him to travel on 03.09.2018 be immediately informed to the worthy Director, CBI (Alok Verma) and seek immediate instructions to avoid any embarrassment meant or untoward incident on 03.09.2018, which may be caused from any diplomatic impasse."
The officer also warned his own agency that if he is permitted to leave India, he may flee. "He is named accused in the case and it is opined that his presence in India is necessary, till investigation in the case is finalised and chargesheet is filed in court of law. It is clarified, that if the accused is permitted to leave India, there is every possibility for him to escape the process of justice in India," the officer added in his note.
But according to sources, contrary to the opinion, verbal instructions were given to the immigration authorities and C Sivasankaran left the country for ever, escaping from the clutches of CBI after defrauding IDBI of Rs 600 crore.
The officer in his letter also complaint that instead of placing everything regarding investigation, he is getting oral instructions.
"It is submitted that the undersigned has been repeatedly and continuously been receiving oral instruction from the supervisory formation without placing the same oral instruction on record. To take action at the branch level in the case contrary and conflicting to the views of the branch submitted herein. It is humbly requested that the same may kindly be taken to notice of worthy Director, CBI," adds the letter.
Now it raises serious questions that why after clear instructions, the LoC against C Sivasankaran was diluted and how he fled from the country after defrauding Rs 600 crore. Also, why was the case transferred from the Banglore unit to Anti-Corruption Unit 3 in Delhi headed by Manish Kumar Sinha. Was Alok Verma, then CBI director aware of the developments?
Interestingly, Manish Sinha is the same officer who was transferred from the agency on October, 24 hours after CBI Director Alok Verma was sent on forced leave due to growing infighting with his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
Sivasankaran is citizen of Seychelles.
According to CBI, in October 2010, IDBI sanctioned loan of Rs 322 crore to Win Wind Oy, a Finland-based company. The loan went NPA (Non Profitable Asset) in October 2013 after the company went bankrupt in Finland.
Win Wind Oy is an associate company of Siva Investments and Holding Limited, a Seychelles-based company. Inspite of knowing about NPA, in February 2014, the IDBI bank gave loan of Rs 523 crore to Axcel Sunshine Ltd, which is based in British Virgin Island. This company is associate of Siva Group. This loan was used to repay loan of other companies of Siva Group.