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CBI arrests Standard Chartered bank official red-handed for accepting bribe from borrower

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Chennai, in a case of demanding and accepting bribe of Rs. 3 lakh from a borrowing company. The CBI recovered Rs. 18 lakh, property documents and locker keys after raids in the premise of the accused - Rajendran, Authorised Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Group Special Assets Management, Rajaji Salai, Chennai.

A case was registered against an authorised officer on the allegations of demanding a bribe of Rs. 3 lakh from the complainant, a representative of borrower firm, to help one-time settlement (OTS) of a loan dispute case pending in Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

The complainant's firm had availed OD/ Term Loan facilities of Rs 27.70 crore from Standard Chartered Bank, D B Branch, Coimbatore from 2005 to 2016 with sufficient collateral. The accounts became NPA with outstanding of Rs. 26.37 crore as on 30 April 2017. The Standard Chartered Bank initiated action under SARFAESI Act, 2002. The accused was the Authorised Officer to dispose of the immovable properties of the borrowers which were mortgaged as collateral.

The properties were allegedly sold by auction for a total amount of Rs. 22.11 crore in January 2021 against market value of Rs. 61.5 crore as claimed by the borrower. Aggrieved by the sale, the borrower filed a case before the Debt Recovery Tribunal court in Coimbatore in February 2021 and got stay order against the sale. Since the matter was pending before the DRT, the accused demanded Rs. 3 lakh as bribe from the complainant to help the borrower settle the case.

CBI laid a trap and caught the accused red-handed while accepting the bribe of Rs. 3 lakh from the complainant. The accused was arrested and produced before the court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai and was remanded to judicial custody till 3 March 2021.

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