After the much talked about stories of a willful defaulter (as addressed by the Indian government) of King of Good times, now its turn of other mini Mallya who exists in Indian territory and managed to dupe the banks to the tunes ranging from few crores to few hundreds of crores. Here is the story of one such businessman who swindled the banks in Kerala to the tune of Rs. 600 crores.
According to the story published by Rajesh Abraham in The New Indian Express on 17th March 2016, a minor version of Vijay Mallya has surfaced in Kerala, putting a huge hole in the balance sheets of over a dozen leading banks and causing major losses to nearly 100 investors.
According to the sources, the consortium of 14 banks led by Union Bank of India is trying with all its strength to recover some part of the money that has hit the roof with a default of Rs. 600 crores by DEWA projects, promoted by NRI Venugopalan Nair, who had launched the super luxury apartment project in Kochi in the year the 2005-06.
The sources also revealed that loses did not remain limited to the banks alone but there are around 100 individual investors who have booked the apartments in this project in 2008 when the project was launched with much fanfare. It is estimated that additional amount of Rs. 30-40 crore might add up to the existing figure of Rs. 600 crores.
Presently the situation has reached a stage wherein banks have put the properties of DEWA projects for sale to recover their money while the investors are left with no option but to fight the cases in civil courts. While the Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited (ARCIL) has taken over the bad loans of Central Bank of India and Vijaya Bank, Edelweiss ARC has bought the non-performing asset of the Federal Bank and the Indian Bank.
Meanwhile Prince Joseph, the president of Dewa Inventors’ Association, a body formed to recover the lost amount said that they suspect the involvement of bank officials in this scam and they will take the appropriate actions against the culprits. “We suspect this to be a case of misappropriation by Dewa Properties in collusion with some bank officials. Hence, we are moving against the bank officials with the Reserve Bank of India and Central Vigilance Commission,” he said.
When the media tried to get in touch with the Manager of Union Bank of India, Ernakulam main branch that is leading the consortium, he refused to comment. Dewa promoter Venugopalan Nair, who is also the proprietor of Hotel Venus International in Thiruvananthapuram, could not be contacted.
The luxury apartment project had planned the construction of 400 apartments facing Kochi backwaters in six towers surrounded by four acres of landscaped garden. According to the sources after the eight years of multiple defaults, Dewa has only a skeleton of one tower to exhibit. Arun, a former employee of Dewa, said the company might have secured huge loans from the banks, showing its one-floor owned at Spencer Plaza in Chennai.