Sunday, September 25, 2022

ED attaches Rs 415 cr assets of accused in Yes Bank-DHFL scam

Days after an Agusta Westland helicopter was seized from the property of a Maharashtra-based builder accused of money laundering and cheating, the Enforcement Directorate today attached assets worth Rs 415 crore from him, and another builder, who are accused in India’s biggest bank fraud case. 

Sanjay Chhabria of Radius Developers and Avinash Bhosale of ABIL Infrastructure were earlier arrested in the Yes Bank-DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Limited) case that caused an alleged loss of over ₹ 34,000 crore to a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India.

Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, officers had last week found the helicopter at the property Avinash Bhosale in Pune.

Today, a land parcel in Mumbai’s Santacruz worth ₹ 116.5 crore, 25% equity shares of Chhabria’s company held in a land parcel located at Bengaluru worth ₹ 115 crore, another flat in Santacruz worth ₹ 3 crore, profit from a hotel belonging to Chhabria at Delhi airport worth ₹ 13.67 crore, and three high-end luxury cars of Sanjay Chhabria worth ₹ 3.10 crore were seized, the agency said.

Further, assets of Avinash Bhosale in the form of a duplex flat belonging in Mumbai worth ₹ 102.8 crore, one land parcel in Pune worth ₹ 14.65 crore, another land parcel in Pune worth ₹ 29.24 crore, a land parcel in Nagpur worth ₹ 15.52 crore and another portion of land located in Nagpur valued at ₹ 1.45 crore were attached, ED claimed.

ED issued two provisional attachment orders under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) against the duo.

With this latest attachment, the total goes up to ₹ 1,827 crore, the enforcement agency said.

The probe agency is investigating Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor and DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan based on an FIR filed in 1988 alleging that Mr Kapoor had “entered into a criminal conspiracy” with Kapil Wadhawan and others to provide financial assistance to DHFL through Yes Bank in exchange for kickbacks to himself and his family members through the companies held by them. 

ED claims that Rana Kapoor got Yes Bank to invest ₹ 3,700 crore in short-term non-convertible debentures of DHFL and ₹ 283 crore in Masala Bonds of DHFL. Simultaneously, Kapil Wadhawan through DHFL paid a kickback of Rs 600 crore, in the garb of loan, to one of Rana Kapoor’s companies. 

The agency says its investigation reveals that immediately after the transfer of ₹ 3,983 crore by Yes Bank to DHFL, the latter sanctioned Rs 2,317 crore as a loan to Radius Group of Sanjay Chhabria in the name of development of his project “Avenue 54” at Santacruz in Mumbai. Sanjay Chhabria then diverted the same without using it for the declared purpose, ED said.

The probe agency further accused Sanjay Chhabria of conniving with Avinash Bhosale and diverting funds to his various companies. “Apart from this, Avinash Bhosale had connived with Kapil Wadhawan of DHFL and received approx Rs 71.82 crore from DHFL in the garb of providing certain services to DHFL and other entities. However, the said so-called services have never been provided and the same was utilised by Mr Avinash Bhosale for his beneficial use,” ED said.

The CBI had last week also recovered paintings and watches worth several crores during further searches conducted in the case.

The investigation agency said articles worth several crores were purchased from diverted funds. 

Two paintings made by FN Souza (1964) and another by SH Raza (1956) worth Rs 5.50 crore (approx); two watches of Jacob & Co and Frank Muller Geneve worth Rs 5 crore (approx) and gold and diamond jewellery including bangles and necklaces worth Rs 2 crore (approx) were recovered. 

ED had earlier attached properties worth ₹ 1,412 crore, seized 5 high-end vehicles of the Wadhawans having an approximate value of ₹ 12.59 crore, and also attached properties worth ₹ 600 crore of Rana Kapoor in the case. 

The agency arrested Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, and Rana Kapoor earlier this year. They are still in judicial custody.

ED also arrested Sanjay Chhabria and Avinash Bhosale in June; both are in judicial custody as well.

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