Sell assets to repay PMC Bank loans: HDIL promoters to ED

New Delhi, Oct 17, 2019-

Facing imminent threat of more properties being attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs 4,335 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraud case, the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoters and directors have written to the probe agency, Mumbai Police and the RBI to sell the properties at fair market rates to repay the loans taken by the company.

Denying allegations of money laundering, Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan said that they wanted to “work towards the resolution of the matter in the interest of depositors”.

In a letter dated October 16, the Wadhawans, both of whom were arrested by the ED on October 3, wrote to the ED, Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to “immediately take steps to sell the 19 mentioned assets mentioned at the fair market value and adjust it towards the principal of the loans, which was taken by HDIL and its group companies from PMC Bank.”

“Such action for monetisation of these depreciable assets is required to protect the value of the assets to fetch a fair market value for the assets and to make available immediate liquidity to start the process of repaying loans to PMC Bank,” they said.

Giving full consent to sell the attached properties, the Wadhawans said “it was in the larger public interest that the assets are disposed off to fetch a fair market price to repay loans availed by HDIL group companies”.

“To implement the process of monetisation of assets, any approval, consent and necessary formalities required from us would be fulfilled by us and no hindrance would be created. We undertake and assure to extend full co-operation and assistance in the process,” they added.

Senior ED officials on Wednesday told IANS that the agency has identified three hotels of HDIL group in the name of the daughter and promoter of the group. Besides the hotels, the ED also traced 1,770.14 acres of land of the HDIL group in Vijaydurg area in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district.

The officials said that the agency has identified four flats in the name of wife and children of PMC Bank’s ex-chairman S. Waryam Singh at Jay Prakash Road and four bungalows in Mumbai’s Andheri area. The ED will attach the properties and lands of the HDIL group and the properties of the former PMC Bank chairman in the coming days under the charges of money laundering.

The ED has registered a case of money laundering against HDIL promoters in the PMC Bank fraud case taking cognisance of the FIR filed in the matter by Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The ED last week had carried out raids at multiple locations in Mumbai and attached several properties of the HDIL group including luxury cars, private jets, a yatch and other moveable and immovable assets of the group.

The ED has also identified properties to the tune of Rs 3,830 crore of the HDIL group and other related companies. 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.

PMC Bank’s former Managing Director Joy Thomas was allegedly behind the masking of the borrowers’ accounts. On Wednesday, a Mumbai court sent to judicial custody, till October 23, two directors of HDIL – Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, and Singh – who were arrested in connection with the Rs 4,355 crore scam in the bank.  (Agency)

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