Money & Banking

Bank loan default: ED attaches diamond firm’s assets worth ₹172 crore

Press Trust of India Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 31, 2016

The Enforcement Directorate today attached assets worth ₹172 crore of a diamond firm in connection with its money laundering probe in a major bank default case involving ₹6,800 crore.

Sources in the central probe agency said the zonal office of the agency here issued orders for the seizure of both movable and immovable properties of the firm, identified as Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

While the firm has its registered office in the diamond city of Surat in Gujarat, it is headquartered in Mumbai.

As per data, of the total ₹6,800 crore of debt and loans, Winsome owes ₹4,680 crore to a consortium of lenders headed by Standard Chartered Bank.

Its associate firm Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery owes another ₹2,121.82 crore to a set of banks led by PNB.

Once a top diamond firm, Winsome, promoted by Jatin Mehta, is being probed both by the Enforcement Directorate and CBI.

Its troubles started in January 2013, when 13 of its UAE-based distributors controlled by a Jordanian national failed to pay ₹4,760 crore to the company, according to its 2012-13 annual report.

Following this, four foreign banks led by Standard Chartered, encashed the bank guarantees worth ₹4,000 crore.

As the troubles mounted and the company failed to service its debt, many banks got the company and promoter Mehta declared ‘wilful defaulters’ as forensic audits showed the firm had allegedly siphoned off funds.

Published on May 31, 2016
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