PMC case: ED initiates proceedings to attach Wadhawan's UK, UAE properties

Rakesh Wadhawan, promoters of HDIL, and Waryam Singh, ex-chairman, PMC Bank being produced in court in Mumbai in connection with the PMC Bank case in Mumbai on 9th Oct, 2019. Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar
Widening its money laundering probe into the Rs 4,355-crore Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank loan case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated the attachment procedure of the properties located at the UAE and the UK belonging to Wadhawans. According to officials, the probe agency has approached its foreign counterparts and may soon issue a Letter Rogatory (LR) to seize the assets located overseas.

Sources said the enforcement agency has come across two immovable assets — one flat in Dubai and one land parcel in London. The ED is examining the valuation of both properties, estimated between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore. Typically, the ED is seeking legal assistance to seize properties located abroad.

Meanwhile, the ED on Thursday has identified another five-acre plot of the Wadhawans in Vasai, on the outskirts of Mumbai, on which a bungalow was built.

Housing Development & Infrastructure (HDIL) promoter Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan are under ED scanner for allegedly diverting PMC bank loan amount to create assets. The economic offences wing of the Mumbai police arrested the Wadhawans last week in the case. Besides, the agency is evaluating the bungalow in Mumbai worth Rs 100 crore, which Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan has gifted to his friend. 

The ED has searched multiple locations of HDIL, its promoters, directors, and 18 other companies associated with the real estate firm.

PMC’s exposure to HDIL is over Rs 6,000 crore. And the real estate company is also facing bankruptcy proceedings at National Company Law Tribunal.

So far, the ED has attached one aircraft (Bombardiar Challenger-300) registered in the name of Privilege Airways, where the Wadhawans are directors. Besides, at least 12 luxury cars and jewellery worth Rs 60 crore have also been seized. Apart from this, the ED is in the process of attaching a 2.5-acre property of the Wadhawans at Alibaug, a coastal town in Maharashtra.

Sources said the companies associated and linked to HDIL are Wadhawan Livestock Pvt, Privilege Industries, UM Architecture and Contractors Ltd, Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd, Heritage Housing Development (India) Pvt Ltd, HR Infracity Pvt Ltd, Libra Hotels Pvt Ltd, Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd, and ANC Holdings; Investment Pvt Ltd. The Wadhawans are associates with several other companies.

The federal agency is trying to ascertain the total exposure of these firms to the bank, along with the investments by these companies. 

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