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Mumbai police set to start criminal investigation against DHFL promoters

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on March 14, 2021

Action follows complaint made by a depositor in Metropolitan Court

Nearly a year after the DHFL fraud came to light, the Mumbai police will ‘now’ start its criminal investigations against the housing finance company (HFC) and the promoter entities linked to it. On March 6, a Mumbai Metropolitan Court at Ballard Pier area directed the Mumbai police to investigate DHFL for cheating, fraud and funds siphoning under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Last year, a massive loan and deposit scam worth over ₹17,300 crore was unearthed by the auditors of DHFL and the details were submitted to the bankruptcy court. Following this, both the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) swung into action and started probing DHFL and its promoters including Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, Township Developers India, Wadhawan Holdings, Dheeraj Township Developers, Wadhawan Consolidated Holdings among other for money laundering, links to gangsters and the drug mafia. But the Mumbai police is yet to register any criminal complaint into the matter involving funds misappropriation.

Rommel Rodrigues, a Mumbai resident who had more than ₹1 crore as deposits with DHFL had moved the court, which has directed the south Mumbai based MRA Marg Police Station to investigate in a time-bound manner. Rodrigues says despite Covid he had been corresponding with the senior police officials to get them to investigate the Wadhawan brothers but could not do so. He then approached the Magistrate Court.

“Even since the ED and CBI investigations started investigating DHFL for funds diversion and even links with drug dealers and gangsters, my client Rodrigues attempted to retrieve his deposits. But the company did not respond at all. The Mumbai police have a role to investigate the company for criminal breach. The court has taken a serious note and issued the directions. Several more depositors have been cheated and have complained to the police but a proper criminal case needs to be registered first,” said Yashpal Thakur, a criminal advocate who argued the case.

BusinessLine has reported that Bandra, a Mumbai suburb was the hotbed of DHFL’s ‘loan scam’ for over a decade. Secret accounting software with more than 2.60 lakh bogus accounts and siphoning of funds amounting to ₹11,750 crore were all part of a thriving enterprise of the infamous ‘Bandra-branch’ of DHFL.

Published on March 14, 2021

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