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More skeletons may pop out of Home Trade cupboard

Mumbai, Aug. 22 (PTI): The Home Trade scam could involve misappropriation of at least Rs 500 crore, as irregularities have been traced in other parts of the country including a provident fund scheme in Calcutta, police sources said here.

“The scam can touch the Rs 500-crore figure and irregularities have been noticed in several states including Gujarat and Bengal,” sources in the economic offences branch said.

In Calcutta, the group’s involvement has been linked to the Rs 82 lakh forgery in a central government undertaking employees provident fund scheme, sources said, adding a two-member team of the anti-corruption branch, Calcutta, arrived here today to pursue further investigations.

Six persons, including Home Trade chairman Sanjay Agarwal and director (securities trade) Ketan Sheth, were arrested after the scam, involving at least Rs 300 crore, came to light.

While Agarwal, who was given bail in the Nagpur case, is held in Pune, Sheth is in Valsad jail in Gujarat, sources said adding four others including the chairman, vice-chairman and general manager of Raghuvanshi Co-operative Bank and an employee of Home Trade were released on bail.

“More arrests, particularly of the directors, were likely,” sources said.

Besides Bengal, irregularities have been detected in Surat, Valsad and other parts of Gujarat, sources said, adding in Gujarat, the Rs 25-crore scam involved various co-operative banks.

Sheth gets bail

A local court today granted bail to Sheth and Ashok Choudhary, deposed general manager of Nagpur District Central Co-operative Bank (NDCCB), facing criminal charges in the Rs 150 crore gilt scam.

Granting the bail on expiry of 60 days in detention, the court directed them to furnish a cash surety of Rs 1 lakh and solvency of an equal amount each. It also directed them not to leave their places and make themselves available to the investigating agency, the state CID, as and when necessary.

Sheth was arrested by the state CID here two months ago.

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