Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at homes and offices of former Religare promoters Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder Singh on Thursday, besides former Religare chairman Sunil Godhwani and an alleged hawala operator following Religare's complaint of money laundering. The ED action comes in wake of a recent Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) initiated by the Economic Offense Wing of the Delhi Police under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2010.
The raids were conducted at 7 seven locations in Delhi, including those connected to the Singh brothers, ex-CMD of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) Sunil Godhwani, REL executives NK Ghoshal, Hemant Dhingra. Delhi Police had lodged a case of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust against the Singh brothers, Sunil Godhwani and others on the complaint of REL's subsidiary Religare Finvest (RFL).
The complaint alleged the Singh brothers and others cheated their companies, including listed company Religare Enterprises and RFL, of over Rs 740 crore by misappropriating, siphoning off and diverting funds to entities controlled by, connected to, or known to the promoters and their associates through a maze of transactions. The investigation was finally initiated on March 29 after several internal probes, which included an independent forensic review conducted by the RFL management and its board.
Singh brothers were promoters of the listed company Religare Enterprises till February 2018, and they held immense power over the management of subsidiary Religare Finvest, said the complaint. To probe the matter, Religare Finvest had also filed a separate case with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The agency is also probing the role of companies like Arch Finance Ltd and RHC Holding Private Limited. In total, the agency is probing the alleged misappropriation of over Rs 2,397 crore funds in this case, ED officials told PTI.
The Singh brothers had lost control over the listed company REL and its subsidiaries after lenders invoked shares pledged by them and other group companies in February. The relationship between Singh brothers also turned sour after the allegations of fund diversion from the healthcare chain emerged apart from other charges of financial impropriety. Their woes deepened after non-payment of the arbitration award worth $500 million to Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo.
In the Daiichi Sankyo contempt plea case, the Supreme Court (SC) had reserved its order in April. However, the apex court said it was deciding the issue of 'contempt of court' only. During the hearing, Daiichi told the SC that former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh had given undertaking in the Delhi High Court and that the value of their "unencumbered assets" was only Rs 452 crore.
Manoj Sharma with agency inputs