The Enforcement Directorate on Friday attached three hotels belonging to Rakesh Wadhan – the promoter of real-estate firm Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited – and some other people in Delhi, in connection with its investigation into the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank fraud. The value of the properties is Rs 100 crore.
“The ED [Enforcement Directorate] attaches three hotels, namely FAB HOTELS, situated at Kailash Colony, East of Kailash and Kalkaji in New Delhi totaling to ₹100 crores owned by Rakesh Wadhawan and others under PMLA [the Prevention of Money Laundering Act] in PMC [Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative bank],” the investigation agency tweeted.
The agency added that the hotels are owned by Wadhawan, Deewan Realtors and two other firms named Libra Realtors and Libra Hotels, according to PTI.
The Enforcement Directorate said it had found that the firms had obtained Rs 247 crore from the bank fraudulently. “These loans are part of the Rs 6,117 crores owed by HDIL group of companies to the PMC Bank,” the agency said.
The investigation agency is looking into allegations that the bank did not report all non-performing assets, or bad loans, after providing funds to a number of companies. The scam, which is said to be worth Rs 4,355 crore, had caused a huge liquidity crisis in 2019.
In September, the Reserve Bank of India had imposed curbs on the bank, saying that its depositors would not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1,000 from the bank for six months. The withdrawal limit was raised to Rs 25,000, and then to Rs 40,000 in October. On November 5, the RBI again increased the withdrawal limit to Rs 50,000.
The Enforcement Directorate had filed a case in October against Rakesh Wadhawan, his son Sarang Wadhawan, the bank’s former Chairperson Waryam Singh and ex-Managing Director Joy Thomas. The agency has so far attached properties worth around Rs 360 crore belonging to the Wadhwans, according to Hindustan Times.
The Wadhwans had allegedly created more than 21,000 fictitious accounts to hide loans from the crisis-hit lender, and failed to pay back the money.
In January, the Supreme Court had stayed a Bombay High Court order that allowed the Wadhwans to be placed under house arrest. The top court had said they must continue to be lodged at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.