MUMBAI Aug 3 Indian police arrested the
chairman of mid-sized state-run lender Syndicate Bank Ltd
late on Saturday over allegations of taking bribes to
grant loan extensions to a company, a police spokeswoman said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, India's top
crime-fighting agency, has filed a case against Syndicate Bank
Chairman Sudhir Kumar Jain and 11 others, including two
directors of a Delhi-based company, and is further investigating
the allegations, it said in a statement.
"It is alleged that the said public servant has been
indulging into negotiations for illegal gratification directly
as well as through middlemen for extending undue favour to
private companies by granting sanction to various financial
proposals," the statement said, referring to the bank chairman.
The CBI said it recovered 5 million rupees ($81,700) that
was allegedly being paid to by a private company to the bank's
head through middlemen to win extensions on loans after
defaulting on repayments.
In its statement, the CBI did not name the company that had
offered the bribe. Jain could not be reached for comment.
"We've taken him into custody," CBI spokeswoman Kanchan
Prasad told Reuters on Sunday. Jain will be produced before a
court on Monday, she said.
The CBI said it searched 20 locations in four cities and
found "incriminating documents" related to the case. It also
found cash, jewellery and property documents from Jain's house,
the agency said.
Rising bad loans are a concern for Indian banks. Stressed
loans in India, those categorised as bad or restructured, total
$100 billion, or about 10 percent of all loans.
Last year, the CBI investigated a senior executive of top
lender State Bank of India for allegedly taking bribes
to facilitate loans to a company.
($1 = 61.20 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Matt Driskill)