Saturday, July 20, 2024

ED arrests M3M promoter Basant Bansal

M3M promoter Basant Bansal has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

The ED is investigating allegations of fund diversion, siphoning off, and misappropriation by the M3M Group and the IREO Group, with over Rs 400 crore involved in money laundering activities.

Basant Bansal had earlier obtained interim protection from arrest until July 5 from the Delhi High Court, along with Pankaj Bansal.

The court had noted that if arrested, Basant Bansal would be granted bail under specific conditions and upon providing a personal bond of Rs 10 lakhs.

These orders were issued in response to separate anticipatory bail applications filed by Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal in relation to the ongoing ED investigation.

According to the ED, the owners, controllers, and promoters of M3M Group — Basant Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal — and other key individuals deliberately avoided investigations.

The ED has been investigating IREO Group based on multiple FIRs filed against them for diverting and misappropriating funds of investors and customers.

“The ED’s investigations revealed that a significant amount of money, running into hundreds of crores, was siphoned off through M3M Group as well. In one transaction, M3M Group received approximately Rs 400 crore from IREO Group through several shell companies in multiple layers. These transactions were shown in IREO’s books as payments towards development rights,” stated the ED.

The ED further mentioned that the land was owned by M3M Group, with a market value of around Rs 4 crore. Initially, M3M Group sold the development rights of the land to five shell companies for a payment of Rs 10 crore.

“It was claimed that these five companies were unrelated entities. However, investigations revealed that the five shell companies were operated by M3M Group. Subsequently, these companies immediately sold the development rights of the same land to IREO Group for approximately Rs 400 Crore. Once the amount of Rs 400 crore was received from IREO Group, the five shell companies transferred the funds to M3M Group through multiple shell companies and layers,” explained the ED.

The ED also stated that all the shell companies were owned and operated by M3M Group under the directions of its promoters, Basant Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, and their family members.

“In this manner, IREO and M3M siphoned off approximately Rs 400 crore, which belonged to investors and customers. The proceeds of this crime remained with M3M Group, which was used for other investments and to pay off liabilities. On the other hand, IREO Group made no efforts to develop the land and started to write off the investments every year,” the official said.

“Bansal played a key role in the completion of the said transactions. His custody had become necessary for investigations. He had been avoiding investigation and was not responding to summons issued by the ED on multiple occasions,” said the ED.

Further investigations into the matter is on.



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