The Delhi Police arrested Rash Pal Singh Todd and his son Mandhir Singh Todd for allegedly defrauding Indian banks to the tune of Rs 270 crore. The father-son duo was arrested on Aug. 30 from the departure terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport 30 minutes before they could board their United Kingdom-bound flight.
Rash Pal Singh, 57, and Mandhir Singh, 33, are British nationals of Indian origin and run the Zenica Group, which owns Audi and Porsche dealerships in New Delhi and Gurugram, according to the Hindustan Times. The group also owns iZenica, a chain of retail stores that sells Apple products.
Quoting police, the report said that the duo posed as wedding guests while trying to flee India. The police registered a case against them on Aug. 29 and arrested them the following day, barely minutes before their flight to Birmingham could take off.
The police action came after HDFC Bank filed a FIR against the two with the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police after it emerged that they had allegedly forged the company’s balance sheets to get loans.
“The Todds have duped two more banks that we have identified. It is also likely that some officials of the HDFC Bank were hand-in-glove with the accused men. We will be investigating the role of the banks as well,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) Suvashis Choudhary was quoted as saying by the publication.
Zenica Group is the oldest and one of the largest Audi and Porsche dealers in India. The group earns more than Rs 500 crore by selling and servicing 140 Audi and 18-20 Porsche cars every month, the Times of India reported, adding that the Todds borrowed more than Rs 270 crore from HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, J&K Bank, and Volkswagen Finance earlier this year to buy new cars, demo cars, used cars, and spares. They allegedly owe Rs 120 crore to HDFC Bank alone.
The two are accused of fudging their balance sheets to borrow money. On Aug. 28, they wrote to HDFC Bank, saying that they were unable to repay the loans as their business had suffered losses.