After billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, industrialist Vikram Kothari, the promoter of Rotomac Pen, has been charged by the CBI and is being raided. In a First Information Report (FIR) filed last night, the agency has charged him with defaulting on loans worth Rs. 800 crore.
Vikram Kothari is the Chairman and Managing Director at the Kanpur-based Rotomac Global Private Limited.
CBI sources say action against the billionaire followed a formal letter of complaint by the Bank of Baroda, one of the banks from which Vikram Kothari had taken huge loans.
Vikram Kothari, his wife and son are being questioned by officials who started the searches around 4 am at three addresses in Kanpur.
Mr Kothari allegedly took loans worth more than Rs. 800 crore from five state-owned banks, Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Union Bank of India.
The case has emerged in the middle of a CBI investigation into the massive PNB scam in which bank officials helped Nirav Modi and others get credit from overseas banks using fake guarantees. Nirav Modi and his family left the country in the first week of January, before the CBI started investigating the fraud.
Amid reports over the weekend that Vikram Kothari had also fled the country, he was spotted at a wedding on Sunday night.
In February 2017, Mr Kothari was declared a wilful defaulter for failing to repay the loans. However, he approached the Allahabad High Court against the order by the banks.
All through last year, various properties belonging to Mr Kothari and his family members were put up for auction by the banks to recover a part of their dues.
In the last decade, Rotomac emerged as a prominent pen brand that counted people like film star Salman Khan among its brand ambassadors. Mr Kothari’s family also owns the popular pan masala brand – Pan Parag.