The enforcement directorate (ED) on Friday said that it has attached properties worth several crores of rupees belonging to some companies in connection with a money laundering case against PACL India Ltd.
While the attached immovable assets are in the form of land ad-measuring 3,39,984.2 square metres worth Rs 185 crore, the movable assets amounting to Rs 7,51,78,480 are in the form of bank balances of some companies.
The attached companies are DDPL Global Infrastructure Private Ltd (DDPL), Unicorn Infraprojects and Estates Private Ltd (Unicorn) and Brightview Projects and Estates Private Ltd.
A senior ED official said that PACL collected money from the public under different schemes for allotting plots in different parts of the country or giving an option to take back their expected tentative value of land in lieu of the allotted plot under the scheme on maturity.
PACL was in the real estate business and sale of agricultural land through their agents and local office. Getting double benefit by creating easy equity for procurement of land and later taking the benefit on the appreciation of land prices, it had collected amounts running into several crores from investors all over India.
The ED has learnt in the investigation that directors of PACL siphoned amounts received from investors and utilised them for personal gains by investing in various entities.
Investigation also revealed that PACL transferred Rs101 crore (being investors' money) in Dhanashree Developers Private Ltd, out of which Rs26 crore were transferred to DDPL Global Infrastructure Private Ltd.
Further, PACL transferred Rs2,285.79 crore to Prateek Kumar who invested Rs94.61 crore in DDPL and Unicorn. It also transferred Rs110.95 crore in Systematix Venture Capital Trust through its 25 front companies, which was invested in DDPL and Unicorn in form of OFCD (optionally fully convertible debentures) and equity.
With the funds received from PACL through various channels, DDPL and Unicorn purchased land parcels at village Tiwri of Vasai in Maharashtra's Palghar district. DDPL and Unicorn entered into various agreements with different entities for sale of FSI (floor space index) and construction of residential cum commercial projects, from which the two entities generated huge profits.
"Investigation by ED also revealed that the shareholding of DDPL and Unicorn was changed frequently in order to legitimise the funds received from PACL and to ensure that the assets are not taken over and given to investors. The scheme has been cleverly designed to obscure the actual beneficiary of the land and shares to avoid investigation by government agencies. The shareholders of DDPL and Unicorn viz. Hemant Patil and Dharmesh P Shah have claim over these assets without ever actually investing any substantial funds in the companies," said the official.
Investigation with regard to tracing the remaining proceeds of crime is in progress.
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