New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday seized foreign currency worth Rs 6 lakh after it carried out searches at six places in different cities in connection with a case of money laundering it registered against the former Chairman and directors of the IL&FS, which is facing debt obligations to the tune of about Rs 91,000 crore, officials said.
A senior ED official said multiple teams of the agency carried out searches in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram at the residential premises of Ravi Parthasarathy, former Chairman of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd, Hari Sankaran, VC and MD of subsidiaries of IL&FS group, Ramesh Bawa and some of the other former directors of the company.
“The ED recovered foreign currency to the tune of Rs 6 lakh and also seized some documents related to property,” the official said.
However, the ED official refused to share details on whose residence the foreign currency was seized.
Searches were also conducted at the company’s Mumbai office.
The agency official said the ED has registered a money laundering case over the charges of alleged cheating and forgery on part of IL&FS group and its managing committee during 2010-2018.
The ED’s action is on the basis of a case filed with the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing under several sections of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy and forgery on the complaint of Ashish Begwani, director of New Delhi-based Enso Infrastructure.
Earlier this year, an interim report by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) also highlighted that the top executives of the IL&FS used the Employee Welfare Trust for personal gains at the cost of the company by carrying forward amendments in trust contracts without the approval of the Board of Directors.
The infrastructure lender’s crisis came to light last year following a series of defaults by its group companies on their debt obligations which accumulated to the tune of about Rs 91,000 crore.
The company has defaulted on repayment of loans to SIDBI and along with its subsidiaries.
The debt crisis at the infrastructure lender came to light following a series of defaults by its group companies beginning September last year.
Last year in October, the Central government superseded the management of the beleaguered company via an NCLT order and appointed a six-member board led by Uday Kotak, MD and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, to restore its financial solvency.
Key public sector lenders and undertakings such as the LIC and the SBI have a 25.34 per cent and 6.42 per cent stake, respectively, in the firm. The credit crunch has led to a few of the company’s subsidiaries to default in servicing some inter-corporate deposits.
Consequent to defaults, significant impact was felt in the capital market on account of the contagion effect of the IL&FS problem, prompting the government to replace the Board.