Enforcement Directorate arrests Zoom Developers boss for laundering money to the tune of Rs 2650 crore

Vijay M Choudhary, director of Ms Zoom Developers Private Limited was wanted by the ED in this case, where it is alleged that the firm cheated 25 banks to the tune of Rs 2,650 crore.

Published: 03rd May 2017 12:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd May 2017 02:09 PM   |  A+A-

Handcuffs

For representational purpose. | File Photo

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Director and main controller of private firm Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd. (ZDPL) Vijay Madanlal Choudhary for money laundering through shell companies after cheating 25 banks to the tune of Rs 2650 crore. 

Chaudhary was arrested under section 19 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The money laundering investigation was conducted in this case on the basis of FIR/ Chargesheets filed by the CBI, New Delhi wherein it is alleged that Choudhary controlled Zoom Developers has caused wrongfull loss to the 5 banks---. Punjab National Bank, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India and Union Bank to the tune of Rs. 966 crore.

Further, this loss is not just limited to Rs 966 crore but the accused has cheated more than 25 Banks and it involves huge public money over Rs 2650 crore.

The agency probe has revealed that Choudhary formed 485 companies in name of himself/family members/employees. Further, as per the investigation conducted by ED, it was also revealed that Choudhary also floated 15 companies in USA, three in UK, three in Switzerland, seven in Singapore, four in Germany, nine in UAE, two each in China and Zimbabwe. “It appears that he has formed the above companies for the sole purpose of laundering the proceeds of crime. Based on the investigations conducted, ED has till date, attached assets worth Rs. 130 crore in this case including 1280 acres of land in California, USA. During the investigation, Sharad Kabra was arrested and prosecution complaint was filed against him,” the ED said in a statement.

Investigation further revealed that Choudhary formed two trusts/foundations---Beverin Stifung Foundation(BSF) and Windleaf Foundation(WF), incorporated in Liechtenstein of which he was the sole beneficiary. On formation of BSF & WF, five companies were formed by these Trusts/Foundations in UK and Switzerland with the names Astikor AG,  Llondenium Trading Ltd. among others which were referred as “Aggregators” by the ZDPL and were projected to the Indian Bankers, as independent entities, that entered into contracts/sub-contracts for rendering of engineering services/procurement. Based on the contracts entered between ZDPL and the so called ‘Aggregators’, ZDPL approached various Indian Banks, for issue of Bank Guarantees/ Counter-Guarantees, to the foreign Bankers of the Aggregators, for the mobilization advances being received by them from the ‘Aggregators’ against the contracts/sub-contract entered by ZDPL.

On issue of the Bank Guarantees (BGs)/ Counter-Guarantees (CGs), to the foreign bankers of the Aggregators, mobilization amounts were released by the Aggregators to ZDPL. These mobilization advances received from the Aggregators, was utilized by ZDPL among their group companies, as investment in Share Capital/ for purchase of properties/ paid as advances/ as Working Capital.

The ED probe also revealed that majority of the contracts executed by ZDPL are paper-contracts only with no physical physical work/services/supply ever made against them.

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