Sunday, January 17

PMC Bank scam: ED traces Wadhawans’ 2,100 acres of land worth Rs 3,500 crore

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has traced around 2,100 acres of land controlled by HDIL and its promoter Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarangaka Sunny. These land parcels are located in seven different villages in the Vasai-Palghar belt.

The land, believed to be worth an estimated Rs 3,500 crore, will be attached by the ED. The Wadhawans, it is learnt, purchased these land parcels many years ago to develop a township in the Vasai-Palghar belt, but work was never started. The vacant plots are free of encroachments.

ED officials are examining the documents to ascertain if these lands were purchased on individual name of Wadhawans or in the name of HDIL. The Wadhawans along with their company obtained loans from the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraudulently.

HDIL is facing bankruptcy proceedings. Its group companies took Rs 1,306 crore in loans from PMC Bank in violation of RBI norms. As of March 31, the outstanding loan amount against Rakesh Wadhwan was Rs 1,903 crore and Sunny Rs 129 crore.

Sources stated that of the 2,100-acre land sprawl identified by the ED official on Friday, the HDIL and its promoters had mortgage around 600 acres to PMC. They have also mortgaged another 400 acres with other banks. It is learned that around Rs 800 crore loan taken against these 1,000 land parcels from PMC and other banks. There was no any confirmation on the loan amount and ED official refused to comment on it.

The remaining 1,100 acres land parcels are free from any loan, said sources. The ED is collecting documents related to these land parcels.

Sources stated that these properties are separate than those earlier attached by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police.

They said that after the ED registered a money laundering case against HDIL and its promoters, they received several inputs about Wadhawans’ properties in city and various other locations. The ED officials are collecting details of these properties for the attachment.

Recently, the EOW had arrested Rakesh Wadhawan and Sunny in the PMC Bank fraud case. After their arrest, the ED has registered a money laundering case against HDIL, Wadhawans, PMC Bank officials and others. The agency is focusing on tracing the money trial and attaching/seizing the real estate properties of the accused persons.

On Thursday, the ED attached Wadhwan’s bungalow in Vasai spread over 5 acres worth more than Rs 70 crore. They also traced their lavish, 2.5-acre bungalow in Alibaug and are in the process of attaching it. They have already seized ornaments worth Rs 60 crore belonging to the Wadhawans, along with their 13 luxuries vehicles. The ED is also inquiring about the properties that HDIL and its promoters had gifted to various people, including politicians, in order to attach them in the case.

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