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Mumbai, March 8 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested four persons on charges of defrauding Pune's Shivaji Bhosle Co-operative Bank Ltd to the tune of Rs 71.78 crore deposited by small investors. The fraud was noticed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2019.

Anil Shivajirao Bhosale, Suryaji Pandurang Jadhav, Tanaji Dattu Padwal, and Shailesh Bhosale were arrested on March 6 after taking custody of the said accused persons from Yervada Jail.

The arrest was done by the ED's Mumbai Zonal Office-II. Anil Bhosale and his associates were earlier arrested by the Crime Branch, Pune, and were placed in judicial custody at the Yerwada Central Jail.

The central agency started probe into the money-laundering investigation on the basis of the First Information Report (FIR) registered by Maharashtra Police against the four and others alleging that RBI team during their periodical visit at the head office of Shivajirao Bhosale Co-operative Bank Ltd on April 26, 2019 noticed various discrepancies in records or books of accounts of the bank.

Further, as per RBI's directions to the statutory auditor of the bank for verification of cash record, it was noticed that the entry of cash of Rs 71.78 crore was kept pending at the bank's headoffice in their cash book, the ED said.

The ED investigation reveals that Anil Shivajirao Bhosale, who was the Director of Shivajirao Bhosale Co-operative Bank, had misused his position and conspired with the co-accused and siphoned off the amount from the bank and its branches for personal gains.

The agency during the investigation unearthed the connivance of all accused in the report submitted by the bank auditor. They were found cheating, defrauding, and siphoning off the public funds available in Shivajirao Bhosale Co-operative Bank which was deposited by the small investors.

"It was further revealed that the deposits had been sanctioned as a loan to different companies as well as entities comparatively more than their repayment capacity resulting in most of the loan account becoming NPA (Non-Performing Asset), creating a loss to the bank and corresponding gains to the accused," the ED said.

Based on the investigations, all the accused were brought to the ED office Mumbai under a production warrant from Pune and were placed under arrest. The accused were produced before a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai which granted five days ED custody till March 11.

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