Assets Worth Rs 3,830 Crore Seized, Identified In PMC Bank Case: Enforcement Directorate
Customers read a notice issued by RBI on the shutters of a PMC Bank ATM in Mumbai. (Source: BloombergQuint)

Assets Worth Rs 3,830 Crore Seized, Identified In PMC Bank Case: Enforcement Directorate

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The Enforcement Directorate on Monday said it has seized and identified assets worth Rs 3,830 crore, including private jets and a yacht, in connection with its probe in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank money laundering case.

The central agency said it is in the process of conducting valuation of a number of properties of Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd., its directors, promoters, PMC Bank officials and others as part of the investigation.

The assets, both immovable and movable, will be attached under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after valuation, it said.

"The total value of movable and immovable assets seized, frozen and identified by Enforcement Directorate being the proceeds of crime in this case is more than Rs 3,830 crore which does not include value of 80 unencumbered properties around Mumbai.

"Further probe is in progress to identify and locate the balance proceeds of crime," the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.

The Enforcement Directorate’s criminal case of money laundering is based on a recent FIR filed by the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing alleging irregularities in the financial and loan-giving affairs of the bank.

The central agency had also conducted raids in the case early this month.

The Enforcement Directorate said the raids led to the recovery of "incriminating documents" that revealed instances of siphoning of the funds and their misuse.

"For example, an amount of Rs 98 crore of loan from PMC Bank was diverted to M Estate Developers, a proprietorship concern of close business associate of Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan," the agency said.

The Mumbai Police EOW has already arrested directors of the bankrupt HDIL, Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, in connection with the case apart from former Managing Director of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas.

High-end assets like ten cars, including Rolls Royce, Bentley and Range Rover, recovered from the residential premises of Rakesh Wadhawan, have been seized.

Two aircrafts -- Bombardier Challenger-300 VT and Falcon 2000 VT HDL, owned by Privilege Airways Pvt. Ltd.-- have been frozen against operation by the agency.

Rakesh Wadhawan and his son are the directors of Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd.

The Enforcement Directorate said jewellery worth about Rs 66 crore has been seized till now from various residential premises, including residence of Meena Rohra, a business associate of Rakesh Wadhawan.

Four cars including an Audi, Fortuner, Innova and Scorpio; three buggies; two Quadros (all terrain bikes) and a speedboat have been seized from a farmhouse in Alibaug.

An 88-ft-long 'Ferretti 881 HT' yacht, named Samara 1, which is registered under Panama Flag, owned by Maldives-based Sapphire Land Development Private Ltd (a group company of HDIL), has also been barred from being alienated, the Enforcement Directorate said.

It added that fixed deposits of over Rs 11.5 crore have been seized till now as part of the probe.

The agency said it has identified a number of costly properties for attachment under the PMLA.

Documents relating to purchase of 2,112 acres of land have been found and the present value of the said land is likely to be more than Rs 3,000 crore, it said.

Three flats in Pali Hill and Khar (West) in Mumbai valued at Rs 8.2 crore; 160 acres of land acquired in Maharashtra's Sindhurdurg district for Vijay Durg Port Private Ltd in 2013-2014 valued at Rs 125 crore, have also been identified for attachment, it added.

Eighty acres of land at Greater Noida, near Yamuna Expressway project, valued at Rs 110 crore; a bungalow in Mumbai valued at around Rs 110 crore; a "lavish" farmhouse spread over 2.5 acres along with 22 "lavishly embellished" rooms worth Rs 80 crore; a 5-acre farmhouse along with high-quality construction worth about Rs 60–70 crore and two overseas properties in the name of Wadhawan in the United Arab Emirates and the U.K. have been located, the Enforcement Directorate said.

Senior officials of HDIL and the PMC Bank allegedly caused losses to the tune of Rs 4,355.43 crore to the bank, according to the FIRs filed by the Mumbai Police EOW and the Enforcement Directorate .

The alleged loan fraud at the bank came to light after the Reserve Bank of India found irregularities and imposed restrictions on the lender last month.

Also read: PMC Bank Case: Police Custody Of Three Accused Extended Till Oct. 16

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