The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday searched the premises of a close friend of Housing Development & Infrastructure (HDIL) promoter Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan as the agency suspected that Wadhawan might have gifted a Rs 100-crore luxurious sea-facing bungalow to the friend out of the loans from Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, sources told The Indian Express.
The 4,000-sq metre sea-facing bungalow, which has come under the scanner of the agency, is located at the tip of Bandstand, close to the residences of several Bollywood celebrities and Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra, Mumbai. Sources said the agency has questioned the owner of the bungalow on the source of funds used to purchase the property.
PMC Bank has an exposure of over Rs 6200 crore to HDIL. The real-estate firm is also facing bankruptcy proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
The ED has also seized the beach house of the Wadhawans, spread over 2.5 acres in Alibaug in Raigad district. The beach house, sources said, has about 24 rooms and the Wadhawan’s employed 26 people to take care of the property. The probe agency has also seized three quad bikes, two hi-end cars and two golf carts from the Alibaug property of Wadhawans. The agency has also located a second private jet owned by HDIL, and a few offshore properties owned by the Wadhawans.
Last week, the agency seized a nine-seater Bombardier Challenger-300 aircraft, registered in the name of Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd, where Rakesh and his son Sarang Wadhawan are directors, 12 luxury cars and jewellery worth Rs 60 crore belonging to the Wadhawans. Sources said the ED is in the process of seizing a luxury yacht owned by Sarang Wadhawan, which is currently docked in Maldives.
On October 3, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police arrested Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, for their involvement in PMC Bank fraud. PMC Bank is under regulatory restrictions after the Reserve Bank of India found out financial irregularities in its functioning, hiding and classification of loans given to HDIL.
In the FIR, police said the actions of the accused allegedly led to bank losses totaling Rs 4,355.46 crore. The ongoing investigation has found that there were nearly 44 accounts at the bank that were password-protected.
Sources said that a lot of money has been diverted to these accounts, linked to the Wadhawans and HDIL-linked entities. Police are also probing the 21,049 dummy accounts created by the bank to hide its bad loans.
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