November 9, 2021 5:25:46 pm
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached assets of about Rs 61.38 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), in relation to its probe on Bhushan Steel Limited (BSL), Bhushan Energy Limited (BEL) and a few others.
BSL and its former promoters are accused of siphoning off public funds. The agency in a statement said the attached assets consist of “agricultural land in Raigad, Maharashtra, warehouses in entities under the control of erstwhile promoters of BSL”.
The ED initiated a money laundering investigation into Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Energy on the basis of a complaint filed by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) in 2019, under various provisions of Companies Act, 2013 and Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The agency has found that Neeraj Singal and BB Singal, the former promoters of BSL and BEL, “diverted” funds from these companies “through an elaborate and complex web of transactions by way of routing of public funds in the garb of unsecured loans given by Bhushan Energy Limited to their associate companies, which were ultimately utilized for acquisition of various immovable properties”.
“The elaborate and complex web of transaction was structured to project these assets as untainted,” said the ED.
The SFIO has alleged that Neeraj Singal and his father used illegal means to receive bank loans worth Rs 45,800 crore between 2013 and 2017. According to the SFIO, funds were allegedly siphoned through a web of 157 companies, of which at least 62 were directly controlled by the Singhals, 85 were operated through employees of Bhushan Group and the rest run by entry operators.
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