India

ED attaches properties worth Rs 175 cr in bank fraud case

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said that it has attached 124 immovable properties valued at Rs 175.29 crore of Prakash Vanijya Pvt Ltd and others for defrauding Central Bank of India to the tune of nearly Rs 235 crore.

An ED official said that the financial probe agency attached the properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), including landed properties and business establishments in the name of the said firm and other associate companies.

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“Among these, 10 properties are in West Bengal's Kolkata, worth Rs 67.19 crore, three in Jalpaiguri wirth Rs 98.70 crore and 111 in Chhattisgarh worth Rs 9.40 crore.

He said these properties were traced after analysing the layered transactions during the investigation.

The ED registered a case of money laundering against Prakash Vanijya Pvt Ltd, its Director Mannoj Kumar Jain and other on the basis of a charge sheet filed by the CBI for alleedly defrauding Central Bank of India of Rs 234.57 crore.

The official said that investigation revealed that the letter of credit (LC) facility got sanctioned by Jain was misused. These LCs were issued by using fictitious and shell companies and without any actual business or trade.

“The LCs so opened were discounted by Jain through fictitious beneficiary companies and funds received back by him by round tripping through his shell companies,” the official said.

The ED official claimed that funds released by the bank were used for “personal purpose” and for “settling” other liabilities through kite-flying operations.

“It was also revealed that after availing of credit facilities from the bank, the accused started acquiring immovable properties. The purchase price of these properties were highly undervalued and the balance amount paid in cash,” the ED official said, adding this cash was illegally generated out of the money defrauded from the bank.

He claimed that some of these properties were then offered as collateral securities to the bank for enhancing the credit limit.

–IANS

aks/tsb

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