ED arrests Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor in fresh money laundering case

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Jan 27 (PTI) Yes Bank co-promoter Rana Kapoor was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday in a fresh money laundering case linked to alleged diversion of Rs 200 crore bank loan fund, official sources said.

Kapoor, 63, is lodged in a Mumbai jail since March last year after he was arrested by the central probe agency in connection with alleged financial irregularities and purported kick backs paid to him and his family members in return for certain dubious loans provided by the Yes Bank to a number of high-profile borrowers.

The Bombay High Court had recently rejected yet another bail plea of Kapoor in the Yes Bank case.

In the latest case, sources said, Kapoor was placed under arrest in prison as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was later produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai that sent him to ED custody till January 30, they said.

Sources said the ED is probing the role of Kapoor, a company called Viva Group promoted by Maharashtra MLA and Bahujan Vikas Agadhi (BVA) party chief Hitendra Thakur, Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), its promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan for allegedly 'siphoning off' a Rs 200 crore loan sanctioned by the Yes Bank to a company called Mack Star Marketing Pvt Ltd.

This fresh ED case is based on a CBI FIR filed against the accused.

'This loan was siphoned by the Wadhawans by showing it for fictitious purpose,' the ED had said in a statement issued last week after it raided the premises of Viva Group in the Vasai-Virar area of Palghar district and Mumbai.

'It was found that Wadhawans illegally and fraudulently transferred two commercial properties of Mack Star in Kaledonia building, Andheri East (Mumbai) valued at Rs 34.36 crore to Viva Holding, a company of Viva Group,' the ED had claimed.

For the transfer of these properties, it had said, two separate sale agreements were prepared on June 26, 2017 and the sale value for both the commercial properties was shown as Rs 34.36 crore. 'In the sale agreements, the purchase amount was shown to be paid by 37 cheques by Viva Holding to Mack Star Marketing Pvt Ltd. Investigation has revealed that these cheques were never encashed in the account of Mack Star and Viva Holding never made payments for the purchase of the said property to Mack Star,' the ED alleged. It said the Wadhawans had 'illegally transferred' these properties to Viva Group in violation of the article of association of Mack Star. 'Viva Holding never showed these properties in its balance sheets,' it had said.

Kapoor's role in sanction of this loan is under the scanner, sources said.

This probe, sources said, is also linked to the alleged over Rs 4,300 crore loan fraud in the PMC Bank where the ED raided the premises of the Viva Group and arrested two of its executives recently.

In the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank alleged loan fraud case, the central agency had filed a criminal case of money laundering in October, 2019 against HDIL, the Wadhawans, the bank's former chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas.

It took cognisance of a Mumbai Police economic offences wing FIR that charged them with causing 'wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank and corresponding gains to themselves'. PTI NES RDM RDM