PMC scam: ED identifies new overseas assets of Wadhwans

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has launched a money laundering probe into the Rs 4,355 crore fraud in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) bank, has identified several new immovable properties belonging to the promoters of HDIL, Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan, in the United Kingdom and UAE, even as the frozen assets by the agency has gone up to Rs 3,830 crore so far.

The property in Dubai, sources said, is a sprawling apartment and the cost of which will run into tens of crores of rupees. "The property in London (UK) constitutes an apartment and land on the outskirts of London," sources said.

Sources said that during an analysis of the records, the sleuths stumbled upon the diversion of Rs 98 crore loans from the PMC bank to M Estate Developers, a proprietorship concern of Ms. Meena Rohra, a

close business associate of Rakesh Wadhwan. In fact, the firm was mentioned as an affiliate of HDIL while seeking loans from the bank.

The account against the loan figures amongst the 44 borrowal accounts belonging to HDIL which had been masked by creating over 21,000 ghost accounts. Rohra, who is said to be a close 'friend' of the Rakesh Wadhwan had also been 'gifted' a bungalow worth Rs 110 crore at Bandra, ostensibly from the proceeds of the crime.

Sources meanwhile, said that further analysis of the documents recovered from the Wadhwans' office and residential premises reveal that HDIL had work in progress at around 80 unencumbered properties in and around Mumbai. Those were mainly townships under construction.

Their ownership is being ascertained. This apart, the Wadhwans' had acquired 160 acres of land, worth around Rs 125 crore near the Vijay Durg Port in Sindhudurg district, ostensibly keeping in mind future

appreciation. They had acquired another 55 percent of 72 acres of land in Kukatpally, Hyderabad, valued at around Rs 70 crore.

Another 80 acres had been acquired by HDIL at Greater Noida, along the Yamuna Express Highway for Rs 110 crore. The land was to be used for the construction of mass housing projects, sources said.

Prior to this, the ED had frozen 2100 acres of Wadhwans' land in Vasai-Virar-Palghar areas along with a palatial bungalow located on a 5 acres farmhouse in Vasai (w). Prior to that a 2.5 acre farmhouse at

Alibaug, along with a bungalow, over a dozen of high-end vehicles, two rivate jets, a luxury yacht, a couple of apartments and a bungalow at Khar-Bandra and jewellery worth over Rs. 66 crore, found during searches at the premises of Wadhwans' family members and friends, including Ms. Rohera, had been seized by the ED.