A day after the Enforcement Directorate officials visited the premises of Manappuram Finance Ltd, VP Nandakumar, the company’s Managing Director and CEO has said that the ED’s visit has nothing to do with the business affairs of the company and was based on a malafide FIR filed by a person who harbour a personal grudge against him and his family.
In a statement, Nandakumar said the case pertains to now defunct Manappuram Agro Farms (Magro) which was a 10-year-old matter. He further said the total value of shares attached by ED is worth nearly ₹2,000 crore not around ₹140 crore as stated.
In a letter to the Company’s Board of Directors, he said the total amount of pending deposits to which the matter pertains to is less than ₹10 lakh, which is lying in an escrow account.
Magro, engaged in the non-financial services business of agriculture in Thrissur, used to accept deposits from people residing at Valapad and its neighbouring areas. It would pay interest on these deposits and use the funds so raised in its primary business of agriculture. The total quantum of deposits outstanding as on February 1, 2012 was ₹143.85 crore.
However, based on communications from the RBI in 2012, Magro stopped accepting, renewing and soliciting deposits. Nandakumar said he had raised about ₹159.45 crore in 2012 through sale of shares for repayment of the deposit amounts and ₹34.56 crore was repaid between February 1, 2012 and March 16, 2012. The unclaimed balance of the deposits as of March 17, 2012 along with accumulated interest was ₹119.18 crore. This was deposited in an escrow account with Punjab National Bank in its branch at Paramekavu Devasom, Thrissur.
Monthly report of progress of repayment of deposits was collected by RBI and the latest inspection report mentions that as of September 30, 2022, only ₹9.29 lakh was outstanding to be repaid which was kept in an escrow account pending receipt of claims by the relevant depositors.
According to Nandakumar, Magro has never suspended or delayed repayments to any of its depositors.
As on December 31, 2022, Magro has repaid deposits to the tune of ₹143.76 crore and the total outstanding amount remaining in the escrow amount is only ₹9.24 lakh. This balance is outstanding only because certain depositors have failed to claim their respective deposits.
RBI, SEBI and Registrar of Companies have separately conducted their enquiries and there have been no adverse findings made by any of these regulators on the grounds of any misappropriation of amounts collected from the depositors, he added.