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ICICI Bank Sues Shrenuj Executives

Indian lender alleges complex loan fraud at manufacturer and its subsidiaries.
Oct 22, 2018 11:07 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The New York branch of India’s ICICI Bank has sued 11 executives of diamond manufacturer Shrenuj & Co. and its associated companies, alleging they engaged in fraudulent transactions.

The defendants induced ICICI to extend loans to Mumbai-based Shrenuj’s US subsidiary, Simon Golub & Sons, which Shrenuj then diverted to three shell companies in the United Arab Emirates, the bank claimed earlier this month. Those activities — which occurred from 2008 to 2016 — caused ICICI losses of more than $12 million, according to a complaint it filed at a New York district court October 5.

The alleged fraud came to light during legal proceedings that ICICI initiated in Seattle, Washington, in 2016 after Simon Golub was unable to repay its debts, ICICI said. The company owed ICICI $18.8 million as of May of that year, prompting the bank to seek the appointment of a receiver.

The defendants in the latest case include Vishal Doshi, whom Shrenuj’s website lists as its group executive director. Shrenuj spokesperson Pranava Bhargava said the company was only aware of the allegations from media reports and therefore couldn’t comment.

“We do have full faith in [the] judiciary and will contest the case on merits,” Bhargava added.

Shrenuj was a De Beers sightholder until the miner suspended the company in 2016. The company is now in receivership in India, according to ICICI’s lawsuit.

ICICI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Image: Shrenuj’s cutting factory in Botswana. (Shrenuj)
Tags: ICICI, ICICI Bank, India, mumbai, new york, Pranava Bhargava, Rapaport News, seattle, Shrenuj, Shrenuj & Co., simon golub, Simon Golub & Sons, Vishal Doshi, Washington
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