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

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New Delhi, Oct 14, 2019-

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said that it has seized and identified assets worth Rs 3,830 crore owned by Directors and Promoters of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), Punjab and Maharashtra Bank (PMC) officials and other related companies in the PMC Bank fraud case.

The financial probe agency said that it was in process to identify and locate more of such laundered assets for attachment.

In a statement the ED said, “Documents relating to purchase of 2,112 acre of land have been found. Value of land varies between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 5 crore per acre. Verification of land details is in progress.”

“The present value of the said land is likely to be more than Rs 3,000 crore,” it said.

Besides the 2,112 acres of land, the agency said that the seized documents have revealed 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,” it said.

It also said that three flats in Mumbai’s Pali Hill worth Rs 8.2 crore, 160 acres of land acquired in Maharashtra’s Sindhurdurg for Vijay Durg Port Private Ltd in 2013-2014 worth Rs 125 crore, 72 acres in Hyderabad’s Kukatpally owned by My Palace Society in which HDIL has 55 per cent share out of which 24 acres title is valued at Rs 70 crore.

The ED also said that it has identified 80 acres of land in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida on Yamuna Expressway Project jointly held and valued at Rs 110 crore, one bungalow in Mumbai valued at around Rs 110 crore, farmhouse spread in 2.5 acres land along with 22 lavishly embellished rooms worth Rs 80 crore, farm house in 5 acre land along with high quality construction worth Rs 60-70 crore, two overseas properties in the name of Wadhawans (Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan) in UAE and UK have been identified.

The said properties will be attached under the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the coming days.

Taking cognizance of the FIR filed into the matter by Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the ED had filed a money laundering case against HDIL promoters in the PMC Bank fraud case.

The ED had earlier carried out raids at multiple locations in Mumbai, including the head office of HDIL in Bandra (East) and the residence of Rakesh Wadhawan which is known as Wadhawan House in Bandra (West).

The agency also raided the premises of former PMC bank chairman Waryam Singh and former PMC Bank Managing Director Joy Thomas.

The Directors of the HDIL were arrested on October 3 by the Mumbai Police after they were found not cooperating with the sleuths.

It is alleged that HDIL, which is facing bankruptcy proceedings, and its group companies had taken huge loans from the PMC Bank. As many as 21,049 fictitious bank accounts were allegedly created to hide the loans, which were disbursed in violation of RBI norms.

It has also been alleged that HDIL accounted for nearly 73 per cent of the bank’s total loans. Out of the Rs 4,355 crore loans under the scanner, around Rs 2,146 crore were transferred to accounts held by the Wadhawans. An account belonging to the Wadhawans had a balance of Rs 2,009 crore on August 31, 2019, according to the FIR.

During the probe by the Reserve Bank of India, it was found that directors of PMC Bank had replaced 44 suspicious loan accounts with 20,149 fictitious bank accounts with low individual balances by tampering with bank software. The PMC Bank’s former Managing Director Joy Thomas was allegedly behind the masking of the borrowers’ accounts.

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