MUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) – Police in New Delhi have arrested former billionaire Shivinder Singh and three others on charges of siphoning funds and fraudulently diverting some 23.97 billion rupees (S$464.7 million) from a lender they controlled.
Singh is being held by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police, according to a statement from the police. Sunil Godhwani, the erstwhile head of the financial services company the Singh brothers once helmed, was among the others who were arrested.
The accused, with “absolute control on Religare Enterprises Ltd. and its subsidiaries put Religare Finvest Ltd in poor financial condition by way of disbursing loans to companies having no financial standing,” the Delhi Police said in the statement. The companies receiving these sums “willfully defaulted in repayments” causing a loss of 23.97 billion rupees, it added.
The authorities are still searching for Shivinder’s elder brother Malvinder Singh, an official at the Economic Offences Wing said asking not to be identified citing rules.
The arrests mark the beginning of the final act in the precipitous fall of what was once one of India’s most prominent business families. The Singh brothers were heirs to an empire that included India’s top drug maker, Ranbaxy Laboratories, and later its second-largest hospital chain, Fortis Healthcare. But in recent years they lost all their major businesses amid allegations of fraud and mounting debts.
A tribunal in Singapore has asked the Singh brothers to pay 35 billion rupees to Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo Co for concealing critical information during the sale of their family’s generic drug firm, Ranbaxy Laboratories, more than a decade ago.
In the last two years India’s stock market regulator has alleged that the brothers defrauded the hospital chain and financial services businesses they had built but lost subsequently to lenders.
The reversal of fortunes also led to family acrimony, with Malvinder earlier accusing Shivinder and the pair’s spiritual guru of defrauding the family holding company.