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HDIL Directors & Ex-PMC Bank Chairman to be in Custody Till 23 Oct

The EOW has already arrested PMC’s former Managing Director Joy Thomas.

Updated
India
4 min read
HDIL Directors Rakesh (left) and Sarang Wadhawan (right).
i

Mumbai’s Esplanade court extended the judicial custody of accused Rakesh Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan and Waryam Singh till 23 October in the PMC Bank case on Wednesday, 16 October, reported ANI.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it will hear a PIL filed by Bijon Mishra, seeking a direction for protection of over 15 lakh and 100% insurance cover for PMC depositors, on 18 October.

Earlier on Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has seized and identified assets worth Rs 3,830 crore in the PMC Bank money laundering case, PTI reported.

The Wadhawan duo are directors of real estate firm Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), while Singh is the former chairperson of the bank.

Singh, 68, was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police on 5 October, and is the fourth person in police custody in connection with the case.

The EOW has already arrested PMC’s former Managing Director Joy Thomas.

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Assets Worth Rs 3,830 Crore Seized, Identified

The ED said it has seized and identified assets worth Rs 3,830 crore, including private jets and a yacht.

The central agency said it is in the process of conducting valuation of a number of properties of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), its directors, promoters, Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank officials and others as part of the investigation, PTI reported.

The assets, both immovable and movable, will be attached under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after valuation, it said.

"The total value of movable and immovable assets seized, frozen and identified by ED being the proceeds of crime in this case is more than Rs 3,830 crore which does not include value of 80 unencumbered properties around Mumbai... Further probe is in progress to identify and locate the balance proceeds of crime," the ED said in a statement.

High-end assets like ten cars, including Rolls Royce, Bentley and Range Rover, recovered from the residential premises of Rakesh Wadhawan, have been seized, PTI reported.

Two aircraft – Bombardier Challenger-300 VT and Falcon 2000 VT HDL, owned by Privilege Airways Private Limited – have been frozen against operation by the agency.

Rakesh Wadhawan and his son are the directors of Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd.

The ED said jewellery worth about Rs 66 crore has been seized till now from various residential premises, including residence of Meena Rohra, a business associate of Rakesh, according to PTI.

Four cars including an Audi, Fortuner, Innova and Scorpio; three buggies; two Quadros (all terrain bikes) and a speedboat have been seized from a farmhouse in Alibaug.

An 88-ft-long 'Ferretti 881 HT' yacht, named Samara1, which is registered under Panama Flag, owned by Maldives-based Sapphire Land Development Private Ltd (a group company of HDIL), has also been barred from being alienated, the ED said.

It added that fixed deposits of over Rs 11.5 crore have been seized till now as part of the probe.

The agency said it has identified a number of costly properties for attachment under the PMLA.

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EOW Demands Extension of Custody

Earlier on Monday, Wadhawans’ lawyer argued that while they have no problem with the extension of custody, the EOW has to show some development of the extended remand period.

The investigating agency, however, ascertained that new details about the case are being revealed everyday which needs to be probed.

According to the FIR registered by the EOW, HDIL group promoters colluded with the bank management to take loans from its Bhandup branch in Mumbai.

Despite non-payment, bank officials allegedly did not classify these loans as non-performing assets, and hid the information from the Reserve Bank of India.

They “replaced” HDIL’s 44 loan accounts with over 21,000 fictitious loan accounts to “camouflage” HDIL’s loan defaults, the EOW told the court on 4 October.

The RBI had stepped in and imposed restrictions on withdrawals after the crisis at the bank came to light, causing panic among depositors of PMC Bank.

Wadhawans ‘Purposely’ Withholding Details of Finances

According to the remand copy of the Wadhawans, accessed by The Quint, Thomas used to debit the amount from PMC accounts of the holding companies of HDIL and after withdrawing the cash, he would transmit the said amount through Hawala channels to one person called Mehta who is settled in Dubai. The document says that Mehta used to send this money to PMC as deposit for shareholding in the bank.

The document says that Thomas has also revealed during the interrogation that he was working on the instructions of Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, as well as Waryam Singh.

The remand copy alleges that while the Wadhawans had revealed that they had several bank accounts, bank lockers and investments in other banks, they are ‘purposely’ withholding the details of these investments and accounts.

Stating that all the accused are shifting blame on to each other, the document says that two more days are required to ascertain the authenticity of their statements.

According to the document, the investigation has revealed that there are several accommodating entries in HDIL's account since 2008 to mislead the registrar of companies, which needs to be further investigated.

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Singh Bought Multiple Properties With the Money

Also accessed by The Quint, the remand copy of Waryam Singh states that investigating agency, EOW has gotten reliable information that Singh owns land in the Juhu beach area, next to the Citizen Hotel, which is worth Rs 2500 crore.

The investigation has also revealed that using the money from the PMC scam, Singh has purchased a property of five5-star hotel chain Lemon Tree in Amritsar.

According to the document, Singh was acting on the behest of the Wadhawans and HDIL group. The document also alleges that Singh has also purchased various properties in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh out of the crime proceeds of PMC bank.

The EOW has stated in the document that since Singh is not giving the details of these properties, they are looking for a man called Manmohan Ahuja who is allegedly his henchman.

However, Ahuja is untraceable so far, the document says.

The task of identification of HDIL and group companies properties is still in process, the document says. The document also alleges that Singh is not cooperating in the investigation.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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