BENGALURU: Sushil Mantri, CEO and Managing Director of Mantri Developers, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.
Sources in the ED said that the south India's biggest real estate tycoon was held in a money laundering case. He has been produced before the judge who has remanded him to the ED custody for investigation.
The investigating agency found that the money collected from the flat buyers in Bengaluru was diverted for Mantri's personal use instead of spending it on projects. “He has borrowed Rs 5,000 crore from various financial institutes and about Rs 1,000 crore is overdue. Some of the loan has been termed as NPA,” the ED authorities said.
According to the ED, Mantri was arrested in connection with the ongoing investigations in the money laundering case. "We had summoned him for investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and took him into custory as per the section 19 of PMLA,” sources in ED told The New Indian Express.
ED had begun the probe on March 22 following an FIR against Mantri in 2020 against the company, its directors and many employees.
Mentioning that the company has also collateralized its assets to different financial institutions to obtain multiple loans on the same project, authorities said Sushil Mantri, when summoned by ED to record his statement on Jun 24, 2022, was evasive and non-cooperative. “He was trying to hide the affairs of the company. He did not even submit the information/documents requisitioned by ED,” the authorities said.
Many home buyers have filed complaint with the police and ED alleging that the accused entities/persons are involved in money laundering and have induced the prospective buyers by rosily painting the schemes by showing misleading brochure and false delivery time. The company collected RS 1000 crores as advance money from thousands of buyers. “But they have never been given possession of their flats even after 7 to 10 years," a prospective home buyer said.