The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to provisionally attach assets worth about Rs1,600 crore belonging to three borrowers of IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN), in connection with its money laundering probe into the collapse of IL&FS, said sources.
Sources said that the agency is looking to attach a Rs 1,000-crore plant of ABG Shipyard in Gujarat, a few properties belonging to Nikhil Gandhi-promoted SKIL Infrastructure and Viren Ahuja-promoted Flemingo Geowork.
Emails sent to SKIL Infrastructure and Flemingo Geowork Infraprojects Pvt Ltd remained unanswered.
ABG is currently under liquidation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The ED probe has found that third-party lending by IFIN to companies like ABG Shipyard and SKIL caused a loss of Rs 2,000 crore to IFIN, the non-banking financial arm of the IL&FS Group.
Earlier this year, a report by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) found several lapses in 13 loans of around Rs 1,080 crore granted by IFIN since 2010 to the ABG Group, promoted by Rishi Agarwal.
The probe agency has termed a few of these transactions as an “evergreening exercise”, where the ABG Group used some money borrowed from IFIN to prevent its accounts from turning into non-performing assets (NPAs).
The SFIO report said that, in 2017, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its report on IFIN for fiscal 2015 had red flagged insufficient security cover in terms of exposure to ABG International, and its group firm Onaway Industries.
However, it was only in September 2018 that IFIN classified its loan to ABG Shipyard as an NPA.
The ED has alleged that in case of Flemingo Geowork, IFIN lent over Rs 500 crore to it for an infrastructure project, of which about Rs 9 crore was allegedly routed to Ahuja’s personal bank account.
The ED has alleged that more than Rs 5,000 crore of shareholders’ money has been laundered by IFIN. The agency has, so far, provisionally attached assets worth Rs 150 crore of IFIN’s top five in the board of directors.
The IL&FS Group has total liabilities of Rs 91,000 crore. The SFIO has found several irregularities across corporate governance and financial parameters that led to a default crisis at IL&FS.
The alleged financial irregularities at IL&FS came to light in September 2018, after some group entities started defaulting on debt repayments.
The entire group has been defaulting on repayments since then. The government subsequently superseded the company’s board and appointed a new management to work on a resolution plan.