Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Two India businessmen brothers arrested over $330m fraud

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Police in India have arrested two businessmen brothers over alleged embezzlement of more than $330m (£265m) from a financial services company.

Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, former promoters of the pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy, were once counted among the richest businessmen in India.

The brothers also owned a popular hospital chain.

Three key executives belonging to the finance company have been also held in connection with the case.

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The Singh brothers were arrested by the economic offences wing of the Delhi police on Thursday evening. They have been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. They deny the charges.

The financial service firm, Religare Finvest, had filed a complaint alleging that the brothers had embezzled money it had loaned to companies related to them or their associates.

The police said the firm gave corporate loans to companies which were owned by the brothers and other executives. The money was then used to pay off existing liabilities of the companies.

The companies had defaulted in paying back their loans and left the Religare Finvest in “poor financial condition”.

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The Singh brothers and the three executives are expected to be produced in court on Friday.

The brothers inherited the multi-billion dollar Ranbaxy Laboratories founded by their father.

The pharmaceutical company was sold to Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo in 2008, and the brothers continued to run a family-owned hospital chain called Fortis Healthcare.

Over the years they lost control of the hospital chain over allegations of fraud and problems of mounting debt.

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