ED arrests 4 of Surana Group in Rs 3,986 cr bank loan fraud case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said they have arrested four persons in a money laundering case linked to a reported Rs 3,986 crore worth bank loan fraud by Chennai-based Surana Group of Companies.

The arrests were made on July 12. The accused were identified as Dinesh Chand Surana and Vijay Raj Surana, both were the Managing Directors cum Promoters of Surana Industries Limited, Surana Power Ltd and Promoter of Surana Corporation Ltd; and P. Anand and I. Prabhakaran, the dummy directors of shell companies.

The ED initiated the money laundering investigation on the basis of three FIRs registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The allegations were that these three companies, along with their Promoters, Managing Director, Directors and unknown individuals indulged in the misappropriation and criminal breach of trust, manipulation of books of accounts through fictitious entities, had routed funds through the shell companies and siphoned off the funds from the company’s accounts for their personal gains causing loss to the tune of Rs 3,986 Crore to the Public Sector Banks.

The ED learnt during the investigation that a web of shell companies was created by these persons, wherein the dummy directors of these shell companies were either the relatives, persons from ancestral village of Surana family or the employees of Surana group companies.

The transactions of the three main group companies were routed through those dummy, shell companies and thereafter the monies were siphoned off to other purposes, including purchasing properties through layering and also obtained benami properties in the name of those shell companies.

Investigation also revealed that Surana Group of Companies, Promoters had incorporated several companies in Cayman Island as well as BVI (British Virgin Islands) in the name of dummy directors and siphoned off money to park in those companies through four dummy companies established in Singapore.

“Money was generated by these Singapore-based companies through the sale of goods exported by Indian entities. However, these Indian entities have subsequently written off the receivables in the books of accounts in India,” the ED said.

The ED also learnt that crores of rupees were transferred from these three main group companies to the shell companies and from the said shell companies to the personal accounts of the promoters and their wives.

“Chand Surana is the main perpetrator of this money-laundering scheme and all the shell companies were under his active control. Raj Surana aided in the transactions with the shell companies which were nothing but manipulation of accounts and also allowed the transactions to continue, including layering. Anand and Prabhakaran are the directors of these shell companies who actively connived with the Surana Management in siphoning off funds and thus aided and abetted them in their activities of siphoning and laundering of public funds,” the official said.

All the four persons arrested were produced before the Principal Session Judge Court, Chennai which sent them to 14 days judicial custody.

Further investigation in the matter is on.

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