The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Loan 'cut' cloud on UBI boss

New Delhi, Oct. 11: The CBI has booked the chairman of the Calcutta-based United Bank of India on charges of corruption.

The public sector bank chief had allegedly asked for a 2 per cent cut for sanctioning credit facilities to an automobile spare parts dealer in Kerala.

Besides UBI's chairman-cum-managing director Prakash Singh, two alleged conduits based in Chennai ' a retired chief commissioner of income-tax and a businessman ' have been named accused.

The CBI said the retired tax commissioner had an agreement with the spare parts firm that entitled him to a 0.25 per cent cut as 'consultation fee' for getting credit facilities worth Rs 42 crore sanctioned.

The CBI said the firm got into 'negotiations' with the UBI chief and the conduits after its earlier bankers turned down its request for additional credit facilities without more securities.

Singh had allegedly promised to get the loan cleared by the bank if he got 2 per cent of the amount.

He got the loan sanctioned by the bank's board of directors in the last week of September, the CBI claimed.

Singh subsequently received Rs 15 lakh, the first instalment of a Rs 84-lakh bribe he was to get as part of the deal worked out with the firm and brokered by the two conduits, the agency said.

Last night, CBI sleuths raided the bank boss' residence in Calcutta when the Kerala firm's general manager came to meet him to hand over the remaining amount.

The CBI registered a case against Singh and carried out simultaneous searches at his official residence in Calcutta, his own house in Delhi, the residences of the retired tax commissioner and the businessman in Chennai and the office of the firm in Ernakulam.

CBI spokesman G. Mohanty said the bureau had seized several documents, including the agreement between the spare parts firm and the retired income-tax officer.

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