Money & Banking

ED attaches assets worth ₹3,830 cr in PMC Bank fraud case

New Delhi | Updated on October 14, 2019 Published on October 14, 2019

The Enforcement Directorate has seized, frozen and identified movable and immovable assets worth ₹3,830 crore in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC) fraud case. The assets were owned by Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), its directors and promoters, PMC Bank officials and other related entities, ED stated in a press release on Monday.

The Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai Police, in its first information report (FIR) alleged that Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan of HDIL and its group companies, in conspiracy with PMC Bank officials, Joy Thomas, Waryam Singh and others, availed of loans in a fraudulent manner and cheated PMC Bank. The total proceeds of the crime involved in this case have been determined at approximately ₹4,355 crore.

During search operations carried out in 10 premises, several incriminating documents, property documents and movable properties were found. Scrutiny of the incriminating documents has revealed instances of the siphoning off of funds and their misuse. For example, a loan of ₹98 crore from PMC Bank was diverted to M Estate Developers, a proprietorship concern of a close business associate of Rakesh Wadhawan.

Assets seized so far

The movable and immovable assets that have been seized and frozen till now include 10 cars, including a Rolls Royce, a Bentley and a Range Rover seized from the residential premises of Rakesh Wadhawan, jewellery worth approximately ₹66 crore seized from various residential premises, including the residence of Meena Rohra, business associate of Rakesh Wadhawan.

Four vehicles, including an Audi, a Fortuner, an Innova and a Scorpio, three Buggies, two Quadros (All Terrain Bikes) and a speed boat were seized from a farm house at Awas, Alibaug.

Fixed deposits (FDs) totalling approximately Rs 1.5 crore with banks have been debit frozen. Two aircraft -- a Bombardier Challenger – 300 VT and a Falcon 2000 VT HDL -- owned by Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd have been identified. The CEO of Mumbai International Airport Ltd has been told to keep them in custody and not to allow their operation or alienation. Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan are Directors of Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd.

An 88-feet-long yacht, ‘Ferretti 881 HT’ named Samara1, registered under a Panama flag and owned by Sapphire Land Development Private Ltd (a group company of HDIL), and currently located in the Maldives, has also been barred from being alienated.

FDs and bank balances totalling ₹9.93 crore held in the name of Waryam Singh and his family members have been frozen with HDFC Bank.

Further, documents relating to the immovable properties have been found and are being scrutinised for possible attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

According to the ED, documents relating to the purchase of 2,112 acres of land have been found. The value of the land varies between ₹1.5 crore and ₹5 crore per acre. The verification of land details is in progress. The present value of the said land is likely to be more than ₹3,000 crore.

The seized documents reveal that HDIL has work in progress at around 80 unencumbered properties in and around Mumbai. The valuation and ownership of the said properties is being ascertained. These include three flats in Pali Hill, Khar (West), Mumbai, valued at ₹8.2 crore, 160 acres of land acquired in Sindhurdurg district (Maharashtra) for Vijay Durg Port Pvt Ltd in 2013-2014 and valued at approximately ₹125 crore, 72 acres at Kukatpally, Hyderabad, owned by My Palace Society, in which HDIL has a 55 per cent share, 24 acres of this land has a clear title and is valued at approximately ₹70 crore, 80 acres of land in the Yamuna Express Way Project at Greater Noida, which is jointly held and valued at ₹110 crore, a bungalow in Mumbai valued at around ₹110 crore, a 22-room farmhouse on a 2.5-acre plot worth ₹80 crore approximately, a lavish farmhouse on 5 acres, with high quality construction worth ₹60 crore to ₹70 crore approximately, and two overseas properties in the name of the Wadhawans in the UAE and the UK, have been located.

The total value of movable and immovable assets seized, frozen and identified by the Enforcement Directorate being the proceeds of crime in this case is more than ₹3,830 crore, which does not include value of 80 unexcumbered properties around Mumbai. The valuation of some of these assets is still in progress. Further investigations are in progress to identify and locate the balance proceeds of crime, the release said.

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Published on October 14, 2019
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