Following raids at six locations on Friday in connection with the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate seized 12 high-end cars among other things owned by HDIL chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan. Out of those vehicles, two were Rolls Royces and two were Range Rovers. There was a Bentley as well.
The ED filed a money laundering case against the HDIL promoters in the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraud case. The agency is also looking for details of other 18 companies linked to HDIL.
The raids were carried out at the head office of HDIL in Bandra (East) and the Wadhawan House, the residence of the chairman, in Bandra (West). PMC Bank's former chairman Waryam Singh and now-suspended MD Joy Thomas' properties were also raided by the agency.
The financial probe agency has said that it will look into all the deals the company had made since its inception. HDIL was one of the sponsors of Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL team owned by Shah Rukh Khan. The company was also the organiser of a fashion event - HDIL Couture Week India.
The ED stated that a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered on October 3. It is also looking into bank exposures to Wadhawan group of companies.
According to a report on news agency IANS, the other 18 companies linked to HDIL are Wadhawan Livestock Pvt Ltd, Privilege Industries Ltd, UM Architecture and Contractors Ltd, Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd, Heritage Housing Development (India) Pvt Ltd, HR Infracity Pvt Ltd, Libra Hotels Pvt Ltd, Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd and ANC Holdings; Investment Pvt Ltd, Privilege Power and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, HC Infracity Pvt Ltd, Dreams The Mall Company Ltd, The Mall Malad Management Company Ltd, Dewan Realtors Pvt Ltd, Libra Realtors Pvt Ltd, HDIL Harmony Mall Company Ltd and Privilege Health Care Services Pvt Ltd.
"We want to know the exposure of these companies to the bank and in what all business they are in," said a senior ED officer.
HDIL is facing bankruptcy proceedings, and it's alleged that the group companies had taken huge loans from PMC Bank. Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing had stated that the PMC Bank had created 21,000 fictitious loan accounts to camouflage the defaults by HDIL. Nearly 73 per cent of the bank's total loans were extended to HDIL.
Separately, around 450 aggrieved homebuyers of HDIL have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention. According to the letter, the families have paid a total of Rs 350 crore to the bankrupt HDIL for the suburban Mulund project, which has been stuck for nine years now.