The anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches at eight locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Jammu, and Srinagar in connection with a 12-year-old J&K Bank building scam case.

This case is related to the purchase of office space for J&K Bank in Mumbai when the former Finance Minister of the previous PDP-BJP government Dr. Haseeb Drabu was chairman of the Bank.

According to a local news agency, searches were carried out simultaneously by CBI sleuths at the residences of Haseeb Drabu, then Chairman of J&K Bank besides members of the Estates Committee of the board of directors of the Bank including A.K. Mehta, then Executive Director, and the then Directors Mohammed Ibrahim Shahdad and Vikrant Kuthiala.

J&K Bank
J&K Bank

"The Central Bureau of Investigation is today conducting searches at eight locations including at Jammu, Srinagar, and Mumbai at the premises of then members of Estate Committee of the Board of Directors including the then Chairman of J&K Bank, then Directors, then Executive Director", an official handout of CBI reads.

Electronic evidences, vital documents recovered during raids

Incriminating documents, articles, electronic evidences, several bank account details, and bank locker keys have been recovered during searches.

CBI had registered a case on 11.11.2021 on the allegations of irregularities in the purchase of the Akruti Gold building for Rs. 180 crores (approx) by J&K Bank for its integrated office in Mumbai in 2010. The said case was referred by J&K Government. CBI had also conducted searches earlier at various locations including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.

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It has been alleged that the members of the Estate Committee of the board of directors received kickbacks in crores for facilitating the said deal.

Former CM Omar Abdullah was already quizzed by ED in the same case

On April 7, the Enforcement Directorate summoned former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the same case. His questioning lasted for five hours.

In November 2021 the CBI registered an FIR against Akruti Gold Builders and unknown public servants. The ED took cognizance of it and registered a case of money laundering.

The case was related to the purchase of a building by the J&K Bank in Bandra Kurla in 2010 when Omar Abdullah was chief minister. The former finance minister of the erstwhile state of J&K Dr. Haseeb Drabu was the chairman of the Bank at that time.

As per the FIR registered in this case, it was alleged that the Bank had approved the purchase of a 42,000-square foot property for Rs 109 crore, but eventually, the committee and the then board of the financial institution approved the purchase of 65,000 square feet of property at a cost of Rs 172 crore.

As per the case, a two-member committee headed by Drabu was formed to look for a building in Mumbai, and based on their recommendation, the building, which is the biggest asset of the bank as of date, was cleared for purchase.