Zuwarkar arrested in bank scam

| 17 May 2001 22:51 IST

Somnath Zuwarkar, yet another former Congress minister and chairman of the Goa State Co-operative bank, was arrested today morning in a bank scandal, along with C N Salkar, the bank CEO.

Zuwarkar is the second MLA, belonging to the opposition Congress, after former power minister Mauvin Godinho was arrested yesterday in a power rebate scam.

Both Zuwarkar and Salkar are being charged with cheating, forgery, breach of trust and corruption.

A police complaint in this regard was filed by three directors of the bank on 10 May, following which the police had raided the bank head quarters, branches as well as Zuwarkar's official residence at Taleigao.

Zuwarkar had then approached the high court, seeking interim relief on police action while alleging political vendetta by the ruling BJP government. The plea was rejected yesterday.

Karnal Singh, the state DIG of Police, said they have found documentary evidence to prove gross illegalities in two cases investigated so far, from among 10 cases cited by the complainants.

In one such case of Joaquim Alemao, former MLA and brother of Congress strongman Churchill Alemao, Zuwarkar went ahead with one-time settlement of a loan much below the prescribed norms, in violation of the NABARD guidelines and also without seeking approval of the board.

In another case, Zuwarkar granted loan for working capital and income tax payment to the Sea Gull company by mortgaging the property, which had already been seized by the bank for non-payment of the bank loan of over Rs one crore.

Incidentally, this working capital had to be paid to the state-run Economic Development Corporation for seeking loan, in order to make the one-time settlement of the bank. The Sea Gull had taken loan from the bank to pay the loan it had taken from the EDC earlier and had come back to the EDC again for paying the bank loan.

While both Zuwarkar and Salkar were arrested by the police, the bank CEO moved the bail application to the sessions court, which would be now decided tomorrow. The Congress legislator however would be produced in the court tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, after remanding Godinho to the police custody by the JMFC today for four days, he has also moved to the sessions court, seeking bail, which would also be heard tomorrow.

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