Bank loan fraud: ED attaches 67 windmills of Chennai firm

Published on Aug 03, 2022 12:21 AM IST

The federal agency issued a provisional order under the prevention of money laundering act to attach the windmills.

Enforcement directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached 67 windmills worth more than <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>51 crore as part of a money laundering investigation against the Chennai-based Surana Group linked to an alleged <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>3,986 crore bank loan fraud. (HT)
Enforcement directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached 67 windmills worth more than 51 crore as part of a money laundering investigation against the Chennai-based Surana Group linked to an alleged 3,986 crore bank loan fraud. (HT)
ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Enforcement directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached 67 windmills worth more than 51 crore as part of a money laundering investigation against the Chennai-based Surana Group linked to an alleged 3,986 crore bank loan fraud.

The federal agency issued a provisional order under the prevention of money laundering act to attach the windmills.

The action was taken after it was found “that 67 windmills of Surana Group, which were being auctioned by banks to recover their dues, were again purchased in the name of one benami company.” The windmills and the land they are located on are worth a total 51.69 crore, the agency said in a statement.

It, however, did not say where these windmills are located.

Another set of immovable properties valued at 61.63 crore of Ramlal Jain, who “amalgamated” the proceeds of crime into his regular business, were also attached as part of the same order, it said.

The total value of attachment of properties as part of this order stands at 113.32 crore, it said.

The ED, last month, had arrested four people in this case including two promoters of Surana Group and two alleged shell company directors.

They included Dinesh Chand Surana and Vijay Raj Surana, both managing directors cum promoters of Surana Industries Limited, Surana Power Ltd and Surana Corporation Ltd and P Anand and I Prabhakaran, dummy directors of shell companies.

They are in judicial custody at present.

The money laundering probe stems from three CBI FIRs filed against the accused in 2020 that alleged that these three companies, along with their promoters, directors and unknown individuals indulged in misappropriation and criminal breach of trust, manipulation of books of accounts through fictitious entities and routing of funds through shell (dummy) companies.

The CBI complaint charged that the accused siphoned off funds from the company’s accounts for their personal gains causing loss to the tune of 3,986 crore to public sector banks.

The Surana Group is into manufacturing and sale of gold jewellery.

The ED alleged the accused “created a web of shell companies and the dummy directors of these shell companies were either the relatives/persons from ancestral village of Surana family or the employees of Surana Group of Companies.” “The transactions of the three main group companies were routed through those dummy/shell companies and thereafter the monies were siphoned off to other purposes including purchasing properties through layering and also obtained benami properties in the name of those shell companies,” the agency alleged.

Surana Group of Companies/promoters incorporated several companies in Cayman Islands as well as British Virgin Islands in the name of “dummy” directors and siphoned off money to park in those companies through four “dummy” companies located in Singapore, it said.

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