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ED arrests Bengaluru builder Sushil P Mantri in money-laundering case

Many homebuyers have alleged they were cheated out of more than Rs 1,000 crore after being shown misleading brochures with rosily painted schemes.

The homebuyers also accused the builder of falsification of delivery timelines.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Sushil P Mantri, director of Bengaluru-based Mantri Developers Private Limited, in connection with a money-laundering case.

The ED initiated an investigation in March 2022 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 on the basis of a first information report registered in Bengaluru’s Subramanyapura police station in 2020 against the company, its directors and employees.

Many homebuyers filed complaints with the police as well as the ED alleging that they were cheated out of more than Rs 1,000 crore after being shown misleading brochures with rosily painted schemes. They also accused the builder of falsification of delivery timelines.

According to the ED, however, the homebuyers have not got their flats even after seven-ten years. It was also found that the company offered various Ponzi-like schemes as buy-back plans and that advance money was collected for the flats and homes. In some cases, the company has not refunded the amount to buyers even after a clear direction from the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), the agency said.

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The ED further said that the money collected from homebuyers for the construction of flats had been diverted by the company management for personal or other fraudulent purposes, stalling the project.

Currently the group has total outstanding loans of approximate Rs 5,000 crore from various financial institutions, out of which approximately Rs 1,000 crore is overdue and some of the loans have been termed as non-performing assets. The company has cross-collateralised its assets to different financial institutions for taking multiple loans on the same assets, the ED has found out.

Sushil was produced before a special court, which granted the ED his custody for 10 days.

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First published on: 25-06-2022 at 08:44:20 pm
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