Rs800-crore scam puts Rotomac Pens owner in tight spot

Yet another mega scam has rocked the Indian banking sector with reports from Kanpur claiming that Rotomac Pens owner Vikram Kothari is “traceless” even as banks have started attachment proceedings to recover Rs 800 crore of loan and interest. Vikram is also reportedly wanted by police in a Rs 600-crore cheque bounce case.

Reports said Vikram owes Rs 352 crore to Kanpur branch of Allahabad Bank and Rs 485 crore to three other banks: Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, and Union Bank of India. Reports said that just like in the case of Nirav Modi’s loot of Punjab National Bank (PNB), in this case also rules were subverted to benefit Vikram.

After the PNB fraud grabbed the headlines and various banks initiated steps to recover the money, Vikram went into hiding. Reports suggest that Vikram did not pay even part of the principal loan or interest for months for well over one year. Vikram’s office in Kanpur’s City Centre is locked for several days .

Last year, after Bank of Baroda (BoB), a consortium partner declared pen manufacturer Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd as wilful defaulter, the company moved the Allahabad High Court against the order.

Rajesh Gupta, Recovery Agent of Allahabad Bank, told ANI that the loan amount is being recovered from the attached properties of Vikram.

“Allahabad Bank has given loan (to Vikram Kothari) and recovery process is going on. Since properties are attached with loan, we are hopeful that maximum loan will be recovered at the earliest,” Gupata said.

When asked about the loan amount, Gupta said, “The loan is of Rs 352 crore, which will be recovered through attached properties.”

Vikram reportedly approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after the banks started attaching his properties to recover their dues. The next date of hearing is February 22.

Vikram is also known as Gutka king of Uttar Pradesh. His father Mansukh Bhai Kothari was the founder of Pan Parag in 1973. Till his father’s death, Vikram looked after Pan Parag. Later, as part of the business restructuring in the family, his brother Deepka Kothari got Pan Parag business while Vikram took control of Rotomac industries which manufacture pens, stationery and greeting cards.

In a business career extending to 45 years, Vikram is credited with developing Pan Parag as a well-known brand along with his father. He founded the Rotomac Pens in 1992 and gave the famous tagline of Likhte Likhte Love ho jaye. He also serves as the Chairman and Director of Mohan Steels Ltd. — The Pioneer

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