ED arrests chairman, MD of Mumbai-based realty group in money laundering case

The duo are expected to be produced before a special court for PMLA cases in Mumbai
Last Updated 27 January 2021, 14:47 IST

The ED has arrested the chairman and the managing director (MD) of Mumbai-based Omkar Realtors and Developers in connection with a money laundering case against them linked to the alleged loan fraud in Yes Bank, official sources said on Wednesday.

They said Omkar Realtors and Developers chairman Kamal Kishore Gupta and MD Babulal Varma were arrested in Mumbai on Wednesday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The duo are expected to be produced before a special court for PMLA cases in Mumbai on Thursday, they said.

The Enforcement Directorate had raided at least 10 premises of the group and its promoters on January 25 on charges of misusing various permissions given under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) schemes and allegations of "diverting" around Rs 450 crore taken by way of a loan from Yes bank, agency sources had said.

The company had then called the ED action a "routine enquiry" and said it is a matter related to some writ petitions filed against it before the Bombay High Court. The company added that it has not diverted any funds and "has acted as per legal rules and regulations".

The business group had said the allegations levelled by the petitioners in the court with regard to diversion of Yes Bank funds were false.

"The management of Omkar Group would like to emphatically state that such baseless allegations is an attempt to create confusion and create hurdles in the implementation of SR (slum rehabilitation) schemes by approaching various authorities."

"All matters pertaining to scheme, for clubbing/de-clubbing purpose, are carried out as per legal norms laid out by the state government," a company spokesperson had said in a statement.

"The matter raised by the petitioner in regards to a Rs 450 crore loan from Yes Bank is availed under banking guidelines as project loan against sale collaterals and utilised for the stated purpose only."

"We will like to emphatically state that there are no diversions of any project fund availed by us in any project of the company," the spokesperson had said.

Yes Bank co-promoter Rana Kapoor (63) and scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan have been arrested in the case by the ED last year and they are in judicial custody at present.

Kapoor, whose bail petition in the case was rejected by the Bombay High Court on Monday, was arrested in a fresh money laundering case on Wednesday in Mumbai.

The ED had booked Kapoor, his family members and others under the PMLA after studying a CBI FIR that alleged that dubious multi-crore loans were given by Yes Bank to various entities in contravention of the law and in lieu of purported kickbacks given to the Kapoor family.

The agency accused Kapoor, his family members and others of laundering proceeds of crime worth Rs 4,300 crore by receiving alleged kickbacks in lieu of extending big loans through their bank that later turned non-performing assets.

(Published 27 January 2021, 14:47 IST)

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