By Raju Vernekar
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached three hotels worth around Rs 100 crore in Delhi in connection the multi crore rupees fraud from the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank, on Friday, thus taking the value of the property attached so far to nearly Rs 460 crore.
The property attached included three hotels of the “Fab Hotels group” located in Kailash Colony and Kalkaji areas of New Delhi. These hotels are owned by “Libra Realtors Private Ltd”, “Deewan Realtors Private Ltd” and “Libra Hotels Private Limited with Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Romy Mehra as their directors.
The attached assets were identified as-” Hotel Conclave Boutique”( now known as Fab Hotels at A-20, Kailash Colony in Delhi), “ Hotel Conclave Comfort”( now known as Fab Hotels at D-150, East of Kailash) and “Hotel Conclave Executive”( now known as Fab Hotels at C-22, Kalkaji).
The Ed officials said its probe found that Rs 247 crore were obtained fraudulently by “Libra Realtors Private Limited “ and “ Deewan Realtors Private Ltd” from PMC Bank in the guise of loans. The amounts were part of the Rs 6,117 crore owed by HDIL group of companies to the PMC Bank.
The ED had filed a PMLA case to probe the alleged loan fraud in the PMC Bank in October 2019, against Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), its promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, his son Sarang Wadhawan, its former chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas.
ED took cognisance of the FIR filed by the Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing against them that charged them for causing “wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank, and corresponding gains to themselves”.
The ED had earlier attached properties of Rakesh Wadhawan and his family trust worth Rs 193 crore and had seized jewellery worth Rs 63 crore, thus attaching the unmortgaged properties worth around Rs 360 crore in the scam belonging to Rakesh Kumar and Sarang Wadhawan. The Wadhawan father and son were also arrested by the ED in 2019 in this case. They are at present in judicial custody in Mumbai.
The ED has not touched properties which are free of any encumbrance or are mortgaged with the bank. This has been done in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, which took control of PMC Bank in September last year over concerns expressed by thousands of depositors. The ED has found that Wadhawans have laundered more than Rs 2500 crore out of a total around Rs 6600 crore that the HDIL had taken from PMC Bank between 2007 and 2013.
In the meanwhile in a reply to Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar’s question, the Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Satej Patil told the state legislative assembly that 14 vehicles and two aeroplanes, belonging to the Wadhwan family have already been attached under CrPC102 by investigating agencies. Besides, the 47 th Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Esplanade vide his order dated 25 November 2019, had directed the attachment of other properties of Wadhwans. The accused Wadhwan family had mortgaged HDIL properties located at Palghar, Naigaon, Vasai and Virar, near Mumbai to secure loans from the PMC. The government will also take on record the shock due to bank closure, suffered by 43 depositors, Patil said.