Directorate of Enforcement has freezed the assets of V.P. Nandakumar, Managing Director and CEO, Manappuram Finance totalling to ₹143 crore as part of investigation under PMLA, 2002.

The assets freezed included eight bank accounts, investment in listed shares and shares of Manappuram Finance Limited. In addition, various incriminating documents evidencing money laundering and property documents of 60 immovable properties were also seized during the course of search, a press statement issued here said.

ED has conducted searches under PMLA, 2002 at six premises in Thrissur belonging to Manappuram Finance Limited and its Managing Director V.P. Nandakumar as part of investigation under PMLA, 2002 into the allegations of money laundering from the illegal collection of deposits from public.

Money laundering

ED searches have resulted in detection of evidences regarding money laundering and large scale cash transactions in the form of public deposits, done by V.P. Nandakumar through his proprietary firm, Manappuram Agro Farms (MAGRO) without RBI approval. The deposits were illegally collected by him at various branch offices of Manappuram Finance Limited (MFL) which is a public listed company, through some of its employees.

The outstanding illegally collected deposits, which are the proceeds of the crime have been detected to be ₹143 crore. When RBI detected the same and directed to return the amount to the depositors, the accused have responded to RBI that they have returned the money to the depositors but ED investigation revealed that there is no proof of repayment or no KYC of the depositors. Further, ₹53 crore of deposits are shown to have been returned in cash, but with no proof of repayment or KYC, the statement added.

During the course of searches, it was found that the proceeds of crime have been diverted and invested by V.P. Nandakumar into immovable properties in his name , spouse and children and into the shares of Manappuram Finance Ltd. Role of the CFO of Manappuram Finance Limited and other employees, suspected to have assisted in money laundering is being investigated. Further investigation is in progress, it added.