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Deccan Chronicle vice-chairman PK Iyer arrested in bank fraud case

MUMBAI: Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd’s vice-chairman PK Iyer was arrested by the police from a five-star hotel in Bhubaneswar over alleged involvement in a bank fraud case.

Iyer was wanted by CBI in connection with an alleged loan fraud to the tune of Rs 350 crore (Rs 3.5 billion) along with along with Deccan Chronicle Holding group chairman Tikkavarapu Venkattram Reddy and his brother T Vinayak Ravi Reddy.

Iyer is an accused in an alleged Canara bank fraud case registered in Hyderabad and had been absconding for several months. A non-bailable arrest warrant had been issued for him.

Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi told media reporters that Iyer had been staying in the hotel under the name Chitra Athwani for the last two months and was planning to flee in the next 2-3 days.

The CBI has filed a criminal case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code against three promoters of the Deccan Chronicle group, including Venkantram Reddy, MD T Vinayak Ravi Reddy and Iyer. The CBI arrested Venkatram Reddy and Vinayak Reddy in February.

In July 2013, CBI had registered cheating cases against several top executives of Deccan Chronicle over taking multiple short-term corporate loans by submitting false financial statements between 2008 and 2012.

The company had borrowed the money from Canara Bank’s corporate lending branch, Secunderabad, and other banks and had also alienated the security hypothecated/mortgaged to Canara Bank. The RBI last year had fined 12 banks including Canara Bank of Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) for not following norms in advancing loans to the DC group.

The Deccan Chronicle group publishes several newspapers including Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age.

According to reports, the group owes over Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) to multiple lenders.