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SEBI bars Austral from raising fund as I-T finds Rs 1000 cr fraud

This article was posted on Sep 1, 2009 and is filed under Stock News

NEW DELHI: Market watchdog SEBI on Tuesday barred metallurgical coke producer Austral Coke from raising any fresh equity after the income tax
department unearthed an alleged more than Rs 1,000 crore fraud in the company’s transactions.

“… (SEBI) hereby prohibits Austral Coke and Projects Ltd from raising any further capital in any manner, directly or indirectly, whatsoever, till further orders,” the regulator said in an order.

SEBI order comes ahead of the company’s board meeting on September 3 to consider raising about Rs 960.22 crore through private placement of shares with institutions.

SEBI said that the I-T Department in June conducted raids at the business and residential premises of Austral Coke and found “bogus” transactions to the tune of Rs 1,048 crore.

The I-T department, SEBI said, had observed that a part of Rs 142.29 crore raised by the company last year through an initial public offering was used in fraudulent manner.

“… the Income Tax Department had observed that a part of the funds raised through the IPO were shown in the books of the company as utilised towards purchase of capital goods from the concerns of (one) Ajitkumar Jindal, which have been found to be bogus,” it added.

The market watchdog has also ordered investigations into the buying, selling or dealing in the securities of the company.

The order said that Jindal admitted to the I-T department of having provided bogus bills for the purchase of raw material as well as plant and machinery to the company.

“Such purchases identified so far by the I-T department totalled up to Rs 553 crore … The company has also shown sales of around Rs 495 crore … which apparently were bogus,” the order said.

SEBI further said that Austral Coke may file objections to this order and may appear for a personal hearing before it on September 9.

source: Economictimes

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