Money laundering case: ED raids real estate firms M3M, IREO’s offices in Gurugram, Delhi
Seventeen high-end Ferrari, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Maybach vehicles, jewellery cash and incriminating documents, digital evidence and books of accounts were seized from officers of IREO and M3M, accused of siphoning investors and buyers’ money
Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out search operations at multiple offices of real estate developers IREO Group and M3M Group across Gurugram and Delhi in connection with case of siphoning home buyers and investors’ money.
Seventeen high-end Ferrari, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Maybach vehicles having acquisition value of about ₹60 crore, jewellery worth ₹5.75 crore, ₹15 lakh cash and various incriminating documents, digital evidence and books of accounts were seized during the search operation, carried out at seven locations on June 1 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provisions, the ED said.
The PMLA investigations were initiated based on multiple first information reports (FIR) registered against the IREO group. The investigations revealed that huge amounts of money were siphoned off through M3M group as well, a ED statement released on Monday revealed.
“Investigations showed that in one of the transactions, M3M group received about ₹400 crore from IREO group through several shell companies. The land was owned by M3M group and the market value of the land was around ₹4 crore. M3M group initially sold the development rights of the said land to five shell companies for a payment of ₹10 crore. It was claimed that the five companies were unrelated,” an ED statement said.
Investigations, however, showed five companies were operated by M3M Group and immediately sold the development rights of the same land to IREO Group for about ₹400 crore. After receiving the amount, the shell companies transferred the said amounts immediately to M3M Group. All shell companies were owned and operated by M3M Group under the directions of its promoters Basant Kumar Bansal and Roop Kumar Bansal and their family members.
“In this way, IREO and M3M siphoned off about ₹400 crore money belonging to investors and customers and the proceeds of crime remained with M3M Group,’ the statement read.
During the course of searches, Basant Kumar Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal and other key persons deliberately avoided investigation.
Key names also figure in ACB case at Panchkula
The name of IREO vice-chairperson Lalit Goyal and Roop Kumar also figured in an April 17 first information report (FIR) registered by Haryana anti-corruption bureau (ACB) under sections 7, 8, 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against former CBI judge, Sudhir Parmar and his nephew, Ajay Parmar at Panchkula.
Haryana judicial officer Sudhir Parmar who was suspended on April 27, after being booked on April 17, has been accused of alleged favouritism to real estate developers including Roop Bansal and his brother Basant Bansal as well as Lalit Goyal, according to the ACB FIR. The Bansals and Goyal have been named as accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the ED in cases pending before the special CBI court — a court that was presided over by Parmar.
The sections invoked in the April 17 ACB FIR pertained to offences relating to a public servant being bribed, a public servant taking undue advantage without consideration from a person concerned in proceedings or business transacted by such public servant, criminal misconduct by a public servant and criminal conspiracy. The FIR was registered on the basis of “reliable source information”, WhatsApp chats and audio recordings of the accused.
Sameer Chaudhary, lawyer for the real estate development company IREO, had in an email on May 11 denied allegations of any misconduct or wrongdoing and participation in any offence, as alleged or otherwise in connection with the ACB FIR.
The ED, sources said, is likely to initiate Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigations in the Panchkula ACB case following the registration of an enforcement case information report (ECIR) based on the April 17 FIR.
The ED’s move to step in the ACB case has gained strength from a May 12 Supreme Court ruling, where a bench headed by justice Krishna Murari had held that the criminal activity and the generation of the proceeds of crime in case of an offence of corruption are like Siamese twins.
The agency, which is investigating real estate developer IREO for allegedly siphoning funds of investors and home buyers, had in November 2021 arrested the Goyal. Later in February 2022, the ED presented a prosecution complaint (challan) against Goyal in a special PMLA court in Panchkula.
The Punjab and Haryana high court granted Goyal regular bail on medical grounds in August 2022.
- Enforcement Directorate