Director of spices firm charged with cheating DBS, Bank of India of more than S$3M

Wan Ting Koh
Kirpa Ram Sharma leaving the State Courts on Wednesday (5 September). (PHOTO: Abdul Rahman Azhari/Yahoo News Singapore)

A major shareholder of a spice and nut wholesale business was charged with cheating two banks of S$3.2 million on Wednesday (4 September).

The charges were levied against Kirpa Ram Sharma, a 62-year-old Singaporean director of Pars Ram Brothers, at the State Courts by the Commercial Affairs Department after he was arrested on Tuesday. The business is currently undergoing liquidation.

His charge sheet states that he abetted his son Kapil Dev Sharma to cheat DBS Bank on 25 August 2015 by instigating Kapil to apply for receivables financing from DBS for Pars Ram using fraudulent documents. Kapil allegedly gave DBS an invoice and a delivery order and the bank was deceived into disbursing US$620,000 (S$853,368) to Lion Overseas, an import and export company.

He also faces another charge of cheating the Bank of India (BOI) on 7 October 2015. He is accused of abetting Kapil to apply for receivable financing from BOI, deceiving the bank into disbursing US$1,712,000 (S$2,356,396) to Lion Overseas.

Sharma, who is out on S$220,000 bail, currently works as a spice consultant for a local spice trading company. His case will be heard again on 3 October.

According to previous media reports, Sharma was declared bankrupt following the liquidation of Pars Ram in November 2016.

Pars Ram, founded locally in 1973 by Sharma’s father, traded spices such as ginger, cashew nuts, rice and cloves. It used to supply goods to overseas markets such as India, Australia and Canada.

The Business Times previously reported that the company is said to owe money to between 10 and 17 banks as Sharma had given personal guarantees to banks for loans extended to Pars Ram.

Sharma is reported to have more US$130 million in liabilities. 

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