New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate said on Monday it is carrying out raids at two places in Mumbai of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) Chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan following fresh revelations in the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraud case, as the ED found another jet and a yatch registered in the names of the HDIL promoters.
“During raids today (Monday), we identified a huge bungalow of 22 rooms in Alibag. It will be attached shortly,” said a senior ED officer, adding that one more private jet has been found to be in the name of the promoters of HDIL.
The officer also said that the agency, during searches, has also found that the owners of HDIL gifted a number of houses in posh locations in Maharashtra to top politicians.
However, the agency is tightlipped about the names of these politicians as of now.
On Saturday, the agency attached a private jet and jewellery worth Rs 60 crore of HDIL chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan. The agency said it is in touch with authorities in Maldives to attach Wadhawan’s yacht which is anchored there.
ED has also frozen bank accounts of Waryam Singh, former Chairman of PMC Bank, and also deposits/fixed deposits of around Rs 10 crore.
On Friday, the agency had seized 12 high-end cars which included two Rolls Royce, two Range Rovers and one Bentley of the HDIL chairman during raids at six places in Mumbai. The agency carried out raids, including at head office of HDIL at Bandra (East) and residence of Rakesh Wadhawan which is known as Wadhawan House at Bandra (West). The financial investigating agency also raided premises of Waryam Singh and former PMC Bank Managing Director Joy Thomas.
The agency had filed a money laundering case against HDIL promoters in the Rs 4,355 crore bank fraud case.
The ED has said that they are also looking into the roles of seven directors of HDIL, including Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan. Both were arrested on Thursday by Mumbai Police for not cooperating with the investigators.
The agency is also looking for details of other 18 companies linked to HDIL.
The ED has started probe taking cognizance of Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing’s (EOW) FIR into the matter.
It is alleged that HDIL, which is facing bankruptcy proceedings, and its group companies had taken huge loans from PMC Bank.
The FIR with Mumbai police was filed by by Jasbir Singh Matta, manager, recovery department, of PMC Bank. It is alleged that as many as 21,049 fictitious bank accounts were allegedly created to hide the loans, which were disbursed in violation of RBI norms.
It is also alleged that HDIL accounted for nearly 73 per cent of the bank’s total loans. Out of the Rs 4,355 crore of loans under the scanner, around Rs 2,146 crore were transferred to accounts held by the Wadhawans. An account belonging to Wadhawan had a balance of Rs 2,009 crore on August 31, 2019, according to the FIR.
During probe by the Reserve Bank of India, it has been found that directors of PMC Bank had replaced 44 suspicious loan accounts with 20,149 fictitious bank accounts whose individual balances were low.
The 44 borrower accounts allegedly linked to HDIL were masked by tampering with bank software. Former Managing Director Thomas was behind the masking of the borrower accounts.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)