Seized, identified assets worth Rs 3,830-crore in PMC Bank case: ED

The assets, both immovable and movable, will be attached under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after valuation, it said.

Published: 14th October 2019 09:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2019 09:40 PM   |  A+A-

PMC bank

Mumbai Police personnel stand guard outside Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank PMC at GTB Nagar in Mumbai. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The ED on Monday said it has seized and identified assets worth Rs 3,830 crore, including private jets and a yacht, in connection with its probe in the PMC Bank money laundering case.

The central agency said it is in the process of conducting a valuation of a number of properties of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), its directors, promoters, Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank officials and others as part of the investigation.

The assets, both immovable and movable, will be attached under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after valuation, it said.

"The total value of movable and immovable assets seized, frozen and identified by ED being the proceeds of crime, in this case, is more than Rs 3,830 crore which does not include the value of 80 unencumbered properties around Mumbai."

"Further probe is in progress to identify and locate the balance proceeds of crime," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement.

The ED's criminal case of money laundering is based on a recent FIR filed by the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) alleging irregularities in the financial and loan-giving affairs of the bank.

The central agency had also conducted raids in the case early this month.

The ED said the raids led to the recovery of "incriminating documents" that revealed instances of siphoning of the funds and their misuse.

"For example, an amount of Rs 98 crore of loan from PMC Bank was diverted to M Estate Developers, a proprietorship concern of close business associate of Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan," the agency said.

The Mumbai Police EOW has already arrested directors of the bankrupt HDIL, Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, in connection with the case apart from former MD of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas.

High-end assets like ten cars, including Rolls Royce, Bentley and Range Rover, recovered from the residential premises of Rakesh Wadhawan, have been seized.

ALSO READ | RBI raises withdrawal limit for PMC bank depositors to Rs 40,000

Two aircrafts -- Bombardier Challenger-300 VT and Falcon 2000 VT HDL, owned by Privilege Airways Private Limited -- have been frozen against operation by the agency.

Rakesh Wadhawan and his son are the directors of Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd.

The ED said jewellery worth about Rs 66 crore has been seized till now from various residential premises, including the residence of Meena Rohra, a business associate of Rakesh Wadhawan.

Four cars including an Audi, Fortuner, Innova and Scorpio; three buggies; two Quadros (all terrain bikes) and a speedboat have been seized from a farmhouse in Alibaug.

An 88-ft-long 'Ferretti 881 HT' yacht, named Samara1, which is registered under Panama Flag, owned by Maldives-based Sapphire Land Development Private Ltd (a group company of HDIL), has also been barred from being alienated, the ED said.

It added that fixed deposits of over Rs 11.5 crore have been seized till now as part of the probe.

The agency said it has identified a number of costly properties for attachment under the PMLA.

Documents relating to the purchase of 2,112 acres of land have been found and the present value of the said land is likely to be more than Rs 3,000 crore, it said.

Three flats in Pali Hill and Khar (West) in Mumbai valued at Rs 8.

2 crore; 160 acres of land acquired in Maharashtra's Sindhurdurg district for Vijay Durg Port Private Ltd in 2013-2014 valued at Rs 125 crore have also been identified for attachment, it added.

Eighty acres of land at Greater Noida, near Yamuna Expressway project, valued at Rs 110 crore; a bungalow in Mumbai valued at around Rs 110 crore; a "lavish" farmhouse spread over 2.5 acres along with 22 "lavishly embellished" rooms worth Rs 80 crore; a 5-acre farmhouse along with high-quality construction worth about Rs 60–70 crore and two overseas properties in the name of Wadhawan in the UAE and the UK have been located, the ED said.

Senior officials of HDIL and the PMC Bank allegedly caused losses to the tune of Rs 4,355.43 crore to the bank, according to the FIRs filed by the Mumbai Police EOW and the ED.

The alleged loan fraud at the bank came to light after the Reserve Bank of India found irregularities and imposed restrictions on the lender last month.

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