Guj NRE demands investigation against promoters of Austral Coke

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Ahmedabad, Aug 8 (UNI) Gujarat NRE Coke has requested market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Company Law Board to consider the press release issued by them yesterday as a first information report (FIR) and initiate appropriate investigation against the promoters of Austral Coke.

Gujarat NRE Coke issued a press release yesterday pointing out fraudulent ''misstatements'' in the prospectus of Austral Coke and Projects Limited and there willful attempt on the part of Austral to use the reputation and goodwill of Gujarat NRE Coke to sell their issue.

Gujarat NRE Coke would like to ask the Merchant Bankers and various other ''interested parties'' who have lent their names to the issue as to whether they are aware to the aforesaid facts and whether they can stand up and verify under oath one simple thing that Austral Coke had four chimneys that are in operation as mentioned and certified in the prospectus dated July 18.

The corporate presentation of Austral Coke clearly shows only two chimneys with a third stub under construction. This presentation was there in the company's website till the morning of the August seven and was removed hastily after the media questioned the management of Austral Coke about the veracity of the claims made in the prospectus. Please note that the Austral Coke Management is still silent about the number of chimneys and their production capacities, which we are again stating to be false, bogus and intended to defraud investors.

The promoters of Austral Coke Ratan Lal Tamakuwala and Rishi Raj Agarwal were ''employees'' of Gujarat NRE Coke Limited. They were ''Expelled'' from the company when they were caught stealing shareholder monies and company funds. The term ''family dispute'' is not applicable as the case against the father-son duo was not about the division of family properties, but was plain vanilla corruption and theft, company release said.

It further said that Austral Coke has made several misstatements in the prospectus with a criminal intent to defraud investors. While they have only two running chimneys, they have claimed to have four chimneys seeking to pass off two under construction chimneys as running ones. This in itself is a serious offence and warrants immediate investigation.

Austral Coke has claimed a current production capacity of 3.75 lakh tpa, which is also a blatant lie. As per technical specifications of ovens, with two chimneys cannot give them a production figure more than 60,000 to 70,000 tons of coke. Even with four chimneys as claimed by Austral, they cannot produce more than 1.40 lakh tpa of coke.

The Austral Coke Prospectus does not disclose the actual production figures to cover up the fraud, release added.

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