New Delhi: The CBI’s “special drive” against bank frauds during which it raided over 50 locations in more than 20 cities across the country and registered 17 separate cases has interestingly also revealed an alleged bank loan fraud racket run by Union Bank of India officials at a branch in Odisha’s Bhubaneshwar.Registering three FIR’s in the matter, the Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that Bhubaneshwar Mohapatra, then Chief Manager of the Nayapalli branch in Odisha, conspired with two of his colleagues and several builders in the area to help more than 40 private individuals defraud the public bank of more than Rs 24 crore. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!According to the CBI’s case, the probe agency has alleged Mohapatra along with Ashwini Kumar Patra, then Assistant Manager of the branch and another official at the branch Rajesh Kumar Patanga designed a system in connivance with up to eight builders and approved their projects without the proper paperwork and appropriate scrutiny. In fact, the central probe agency has alleged as a result, at least 44 home loan borrowers, who were in on the alleged scam got loans sanctioned by submitting false and fictitious documents, including forged Income Tax Returns and KYC documents, which were processed by the accused bank officials without any verification. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe Rs 24.17 crore loan, which was sanctioned and disbursed by the branch as part of this alleged conspiracy was then diverted by the accused builders for purposes other than the one disclosed. Further, the CBI has accused the bank officials of releasing the entire loan amounts without even ensuring that the projects had finished construction. These projects included the construction of simplex and duplex homes at plots in and around the city of Bhubaneshwar. The accused builders include GDS Builders and Surnag Builders. The CBI, as part of its massive search operation, raided a total of nine premises in connection with this case, three belonging to the accused bank officials and six belonging to the accused builders in Bhubaneshwar, Puri, and Raigarh. The probe agency recovered several incriminating documents and files, including a key to a personal locker.
The World Coal Association has presented Gregory H. Boyce, Chairman and CEO of Peabody Energy, with the 2014 Chairman’s Special Award in recognition of his global leadership on mining safety. In particular, he was recognised for the CORESafety program in the USA. The award was presented during the WCA’s Annual General Meeting last month in Canberra, with Fredrick D. Palmer, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, receiving the award on behalf of Boyce. Also, the WCA has appointed Harry Kenyon-Slaney, Rio Tinto Energy’s Chief Executive, as its new Chairman. He will replace exiting chairman Zhang Xiwu, the current chairman of Shenhua Group, following the WCA general meeting in Canberra late last month.Milton Catelin, WCA Chief Executive, congratulated Boyce on the award, commenting: “The WCA is pleased to recognise the global leadership role Greg has played in improving mine safety standards. Greg played a critical role in establishing the CORESafety program in the USA, a program that has united the industry in the USA to a shared level of commitment on safety. The 2014 WCA Chairman’s Special Award recognises the importance of global leadership on mining safety and commends Greg for his significant work in this area”.Boyce thanked the WCA for the award, stating: ““All mining workers have a right to arrive home safe at the end of the day, and we must do everything we can to provide safe workplaces in the global mining sector.”As Chairman of the US National Mining Association (NMA), Boyce – alongside other industry leaders – has been instrumental in the establishment of CORESafety, a state-of-the-art safety and health management system designed for the US mining industry. CORESafety was developed through an industry-wide collaboration among NMA member company safety and health professionals to achieve an industry goal within five years of eliminating fatalities and reducing the rate of reportable mining injuries by 50%. Boyce’s leadership has helped engage mining companies directly employing more than 125,000 Americans in adopting CORESafety in their operations.Following his appointment, Kenyon-Slaney said he is “honoured to have been appointed and look forward to engaging in the debate about how the world’s growing energy needs will be met, whilst also addressing the very real issue of climate change – it is a complex dilemma with no easy solutions”.Speaking on the current state of the market and global energy demand, he added that “the role of coal, as a cheap and plentiful source of fuel, will be critical in meeting the world’s future energy demands”.“We as an industry have an interest in ensuring that coal can be extracted and consumed in a way that minimises any environmental impact. I believe we need to see ongoing investment in finding technical solutions to this issue, recognising the significant role fossil fuels will continue to play in the global energy mix.”He outlined his vision for the WCA under his leadership,stating “I see a key role for the WCA in encouraging innovative solutions, and raising the efficiency of power stations and advancing carbon capture and storage are two fronts on which we will see real progress”.Milton Catelin, the WCA chief executive, added “it is an exciting time for coal, with the International Energy Agency forecasts predicting global coal demand is likely to increase by 50% by 2035”.However Catelin went on to ackonwledge “there are global challenges we face – energy access, energy security, affordability of energy, and reducing emissions, all require us to work together. The coal industry needs to be united, constructive, and engaged in major policy discussions”.