ED arrests Omkar Developer’s chairman, MD in Yes Bank money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Omkar Developers’ chairman Kamal Kishore Gupta and managing director Babulal Verma in the Yes Bank money laundering case. The two will be produced before a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Thursday.
Omkar Developers, a leading builder group in Mumbai, is also accused of misusing various permissions given under the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) schemes and availing loans worth ₹22,000 crore.
The group has, however, denied the allegations of any wrongdoing. “We are yet to receive a copy of ED’s communication,” read a statement issued by Omkar Developers. “We are emphatic that Omkar Developers is not in violation of any lending norms and slum approvals,” it added.
According to ED, the firm also allegedly diverted around ₹410 crore taken by way of loans from Yes Bank. “Various other alleged irregularities are also being investigated,” said a senior ED officer.
ED has alleged that Omkar Developers, in connivance with SRA officials, have fabricated and forged documents for wrongful gains by alleged manipulations in sanction of projects along with allotment of flats.
The group’s name cropped up in ED’s investigation while the agency was scanning bad loans advanced by Yes Bank to purportedly ineligible entities. The group was also named in the charge-sheet filed by ED in the Yes Bank case.
ED officers had recently conducted raids of 10 premises, including seven residences and three offices belonging to Omkar Developers and numerous incriminating documents were found. Following this, the company chairman and MD were arrested by the central agency on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Omkar Developers has claimed that the ED action is pertaining to the ₹410-crore loans linked to the Yes Bank case and has nothing to do with it any other (SRA) matter.
Since its formation in 2003, by Gujarat-based contractors, Babulal Varma and Kamal Kishore Gupta, Omkar Developers earned a name for itself in slum redevelopment and its flagship project was the 17-acre slum revamp in Bhoiwada where it tied up with Larsen & Toubro Realty.
The others in the line were the Mahalaxmi Dhobighat project where it tied up with the Piramal Realty. In 2019, it tied up with Godrej Properties Limited for its 4.25-acre Bandra project.
Omkar’s main task was to deal with the slum dwellers and secure their consent to revamp the project.
To date, Omkar claims to have executed 18 projects and rehabilitated 11,000 families.
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