DHFL 34,615 cr loan fraud case: Money laundered via 87 shell firms

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its charge sheet lodged in the Rs 34,615 crore DHFL loan fraud case has said that the accused created 87 shell companies and 2,60,000 fake borrowers to launder money. The charge sheet was filed in the second week of October.

The federal probe agency has also said in its charge sheet that the accused set up a virtual branch to launder money.

The CBI had on October 15 filed the charge sheet against 75 accused, including private companies before the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi.

It has been alleged that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan laundered money and purchased 24 paintings worth Rs 63 crore.

The charge sheet said that the laundered money was spent on credit cards, foreign trips and renting chartered planes.

The CBI has alleged that Wadhwas were using a special designed software which was generating dummy data. The software was also showing various fake entries of home loan takers.

The accused also created a virtual branch in the name of Bandra branch with a code 001 whereas in reality this branch does not exist. From this virtual branch, loans were given to shell companies.

Case history

The charge sheet has been filed against Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, both the then CMD, DHFL; Harshil Mehta, its ex CEO, Ajay Vazirani; Advocate, Jayesh Khona; the then Vice President (Accounting), DHFL, Dinesh Bansal; Director of D K Realty (India) Pvt. Ltd, Sunny Bathija; Director of Sunblink Real Estate Pvt. Ltd, Ajay Navandar; Jignesh Mehta, CA of Chaturvedi & Shah LLP, Amit Chaturvedi, Partner of Chaturvedi & Shah LLP and others.

In July the CBI had seized a helicopter parked in a hangar at the premises of Avinash Bhosale, one of the accused, at Baner Road in Pune.

“It came to light that RKW Developers Pvt. Ltd (a company owned by Wadhawan family) allegedly has stakes in Varva Aviation (an Association of Persons) which owns an AW109SP Grand New Helicopter (AgustaWestland Helicopter) which was allegedly purchased in 2011. RKW Developers Pvt. Ltd joined the Association of Persons in 2017 contributing towards cost price and maintenance of said helicopter.

“ABIL Infraprojects Ltd, a company owned by Avinash Bhosale allegedly has a stake in the said helicopter. As it was allegedly apprehended that the funds used for making payment towards the stake in Association of Persons were sourced from loan funds sanctioned by different banks, therefore, we have seized the helicopter which was parked in a hangar at the premises of Bhosale at Baner Road, Pune,” the CBI had said.

Earlier the federal probe agency had seized two paintings made by F.N. Souza (1964) and another by S.H. Raza (1956) worth Rs 5.50 crore; two watches of Jacob & Co & Frank Muller Geneve make worth Rs 5 crore and Jewellery including worth Rs 2 crore.

The CBI had said that the promoters had acquired expensive items using the diverted funds.

DHFL Directors Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhwan, who were arrested by the agency, were brought to Delhi from Lucknow.

Earlier on July 8, the CBI had recovered paintings and sculptures worth Rs 40 crore.

A case was registered on June 20, 2022. Vipin Kumar Shukla, DGM and Branch head of Union Bank of India, Nariman Point, Mumbai lodged an FIR in this connection.

It was alleged in the complaint Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), Kapil Wadhawan it’s former CMD, Dheeraj Wadhawan, the ex-Directors, Sudhakar Shetty and other accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India.

“Wadhawan and others induced the consortium banks to sanction huge loans aggregating to Rs 42,871.42 crore and siphoned off and misappropriated a significant portion of the said funds by falsifying the books of the DHFL and dishonestly defaulted on repayment of the legitimate dues of the said consortium banks. That caused a wrongful loss of Rs 34,615.00 crore to the consortium lenders,” said the CBI.

The CBI after conducting an inquiry lodged the case under sections 120-B read with 409, 420, 477-A of IPC and Section 13(2) read with sections 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The FIR was lodged against DHFL, its former CMD Wadhwan, MD Dheeraj Rajeshkurrar Wadhwan, present Director Sudhkar Shetty, Amaryllis Realtors LLP (ARLLP), Gulmarg Realtors LLP (GRLLP), Skylark Buildcon Pvt. Ltd, Darshan Developers Pvt. Ltd, Sigtia Constructions Pvt. Ltd, Creator Builders Pvt. Ltd, Township Developers Pvt. Ltd, Shishir Reality Pvt. Ltd, Sunblink Real Estate PM. Ltd and other unknown persons including public servants.

The official said that it was found that the promoters had allegedly diverted the funds and made investments in various entities.

It was also alleged that the promoters had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about Rs 55 crore using the diverted funds.

Earlier, searches were conducted on June 22 at 12 locations in Mumbai at the premises of the accused which led to recovery of incriminating documents.

Further investigation in the matter was on.

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