Sunday, June 16, 2024

ED searches 8 premises in Kerala in Rs 340 cr bank fraud case involving UAE-based Invest Bank

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Friday that it carried out searches at eight premises belonging to a person named Abdurahiman Chenoth Thirummal, his wife Zareena Majeed, and his associates in Kochi, Kozhikode and Kasargod in connection with a bank fraud case.

The ED said that it carried out the searches on Thursday under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED case is based on an FIR registered at Chandera police station in Kasargod, alleging that Abdurahiman, an Indian citizen, had taken a business loan from the Invest Bank in Sharjah to the tune of 68.159 million AED for development of his business firm named Hexa Oil & Gas Services LLC.

He allegedly cheated the bank by not repaying the borrowed amount. The outstanding amount is 42.898 million AED, which is approximately Rs 83.36 crore in Indian currency. The complainant in this case is an authorised representative of the said foreign bank.

The ED said its probe revealed that Abdurahiman has in fact availed loans to the tune of around 150 million AED, approximately Rs 340 crore, from multiple banks, including Invest Bank, and diverted the said amount through debit entries to several entities.

“He is suspected to have diverted funds withdrawn in cash through hawala channels and invested the same in multiple companies in the fields of construction, media, chemicals and information technology,” the ED said.

It also said that searches have revealed the modus operandi of this large-scale cross-border offence, wherein the accused cheated the foreign banks, embezzled the loan amounts granted for business purposes, and utilised the same for his personal benefit.

During the searches, several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized. A freezing order was issued for a value Rs 3.58 crore against the bank balance of the accused persons and shares held by Abdurahiman in his associated entities along with loans provided by him to the said entities.

“The documents of his immovable properties and shares in his associated companies have also been seized,” the ED added.

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