The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has attached a London hotel worth Rs 58.61 crore in connection with a money laundering probe against realty firm Unitech Group and its promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra.
The hotel, named Bed and Breakfast, is owned by a company called Ibournshorne Limited, a UK-based associate firm of the Carnoustie group.
A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued by the ED to attach the property. The case is based on a number of Delhi Police economic offences wing (EOW) FIRs filed by homebuyers against the Unitech Group and its promoters.
The agency claimed in a statement issued here that “tainted funds of Rs 325 crore belonging to homebuyers were diverted to Carnoustie group”.
“Out of this, Rs 41.3 crore was diverted to UK after substantial layering through Carnoustie Group, India and through Indesign Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Cyprus.”
These funds, it alleged, were “used for purchasing the shares of Ibounshorne Limited, UK in the name of Carnoustie Management India Pvt Limited, an entity belonging to Carnoustie group”.
For attaching an asset based out of India, the ED approaches its counterpart in the respective country under established international money laundering and other financial crimes cooperation protocols and freezes its sale and transfer.
The ED filed a criminal case under various sections of the PMLA early this year against the Unitech Group and its promoters over allegations that the owners — Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra — illegally diverted over Rs 2,000 crore to Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
“Total proceeds of crime in this case is Rs 5,063.05 crore as determined till now,” the agency had said earlier. The agency also carried out raids in the case on March 4 at 35 locations of the Shivalik Group, Trikar Group, Unitech Group and Carnoustie Group in Mumbai and the national capital region (NCR).
“After analysis of the seized records followed by the disclosures of various persons, the above diversion of proceeds of crime has been unearthed,” it had alleged.
The total attachment in this case now stands at Rs 595.61 crore as three similar orders have been issued earlier.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)