By Pramod Kumar Jha
New Delhi, Nov 29: In what seems to be an exceptional decision, the Modi Government on Friday ordered the multi-crore Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society Ltd (ACCSL), led by influential businessman Mukesh Modi, to wind up its operations across India. Involved in a gigantic scam totalling Rs 9474 crore, ACCSL allegedly siphoned majority funds of its over 20 lakh depositors.
Documents in possession of IANS reveal that on the basis of a confidential report of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and Income Tax Department, the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies directed to wind up the ACCSL, registered as inter-state society with Union Agriculture Ministry’s Cooperative Society division.
Mukesh Modi, reportedly linked with top politicians, has been accused by SFIO of diverting huge funds to shell companies owned by his aides in the garb of loans to be invested in real estate. The order of Central Registrar of Co-operative Society (CRCS) Vivek Agrawal says Mukesh Modi, founder of the society, was linked with 120 private companies. Out of these 120 shady companies, 43 were given loans worth over Rs 2334.30 crore from the society.
These companies turned out to be shell companies having no business activities at their given addresses. The SFIO and Income Tax department had earlier submitted a report with Agriculture Ministry which says that “total deposits collected by Mukesh Modi (ACCSL) was Rs 9,474 crore”. The loans and advances amounting to Rs 12,433 crore were outstanding. The report further reveals that loan amounting to Rs 12,406 crore were sanctioned to 180 companies and individuals out of which 122 companies were completely controlled and managed by Mukesh Modi family and his relatives, the report said.
It mentions that several depositors of the ACCSL in their statement have revealed that the money deposited by them was not reflected in their passbook. During the enquiry, it was found that the books of accounts were manipulated and deposits were shown as loans. The order of CRCS says the society can disburse loan to its members. However, in this case Mukesh Modi’s team extended loans to companies which cannot become a member of the society.
ACCSL had 800 branches in the country and had collected an amount of Rs 9349.50 crore till 31.03.2018. The SFIO in its report has said a major chunk of the deposits were found to be invested in shell companies of Mukesh Modi and their family members. The order says that Mukesh Modi failed to provide any satisfactory explanation for the irregularities. Modi’s Society was found to indulge in misuse of funds of its members for personal gains and had violated co-operative principles and provisions of the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act 2002.
ACCSL was in the news last year when SFIO initiated a probe into its management and later arrested Mukesh Modi, managing director of the society in December 2018. During investigation it was found that the Modi family and their aides invested 99% of the money obtained through 20 lakh depositors in 180 loan accounts of shell companies. When the accounts of Adarsh Co-operative Society Limited (ACCSL) were checked, it was found that the value of the properties of shell companies was shown multiple times higher than the actual amount.
Cases have also been registered in different states against Mukesh Modi, his family members and officials of teh company’s various branches located across India.