The Enforcement Directorate (ED) of Gujarat unit has attached 1,280 acres of land valued around Rs 1,000 crore in California USA, while investigating a multi crore bank loan fraud in India.
“In a first instance of seizing a property in the US, we have attached over 1,200 acres of lands belonging to Zoom Developers Pvt Ltd, which is under scanner in a huge bank loan fraud,” said sources in the country's premier probe agency, which deals with money laundering and foreign exchange violations.
Zoom Developers was named as the second biggest bank frauds in the country by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan who had written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking urgent action on the large value banking frauds and “the need to take concerted action in these cases”.
The CBI is already probing the fraud.
This is the second time the ED has attached immovable assets abroad. In August 2013, ED had attached a property in Australia acquired out of the income earned from the illegal kidney transplants by Amit Kumar in 2005.
The said property attached under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was at No 5, Grand Ridge, Sunbury, Australia. A special PMLA court had issued the Letter Rogatory to Australia for execution.
Zoom Developers, promoted by Vijay Chaudhary, operates from Indore and Mumbai. Chaudhary, who is absconding, had taken loans of Rs 2,200 crore from various banks for realty projects in Europe. However, no project was ever undertaken and the money was allegedly siphoned off by Chaudhary.
Last month, one of the directors of the company, Sharad Kabra, was arrested by the Indore ED. An arrest warrant has been issued against Chaudhary.
The officials declined to divulge further details saying the probe is underway and at a sensitive stage while indication that the measures initiated by the agency will see actions against the accused and their ill gotten wealth and properties.