Enforcement Directorate files money laundering case in PMC Bank scam, raids six locations
Enforcement Directorate, the federal agency mandated to probe financial crimes, on Friday filed a money laundering case in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC) scam. The case is being investigated by the economic offences wing of Mumbai police.
The ED began its probe with raids in six locations in Mumbai and adjoining areas to probe alleged fraud in the PMC Bank case, reported news agency PTI quoting officials. The central agency is taking a hard look at the role of the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoters. Two of them, director Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan, have been arrested in the case.
HDIL accounted for nearly 73% of the bank’s total loans. Out of the Rs 4,355 crore of loans under the scanner, around Rs 2,146 crore were transferred to accounts held by the Wadhawans. An account belonging to Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan had a balance of Rs 2,009 crore on August 31, 2019, according to the FIR.
An initial probe by the Reserve Bank of India had revealed that directors of PMC Bank, in connivance with others, had replaced 44 suspicious loan accounts with 20,149 fictitious bank accounts whose individual balances were low.
The 44 borrower accounts allegedly linked to HDIL were masked by tampering with bank software. Only a small group of employees, allegedly close to PMC bank’s former managing director Joy Thomas, were aware of these bank accounts.
These accounts reflected large amounts of loans acquired by HDIL and were masked with a special password.
Yesterday, the EOW team searched properties linked to PMC chairman Waryam Singh, named an accused in the first information report, and has stumbled upon a demat account of his with a notional value of Rs 100 crore.
The EOW has also appointed a forensic auditor in the case. A forensic audit is a detailed examination of a company’s financial records that can be used as evidence in a court of law.
The agency put up a notice on Thomas’s residence asking him to join the investigation. “Till date, we have received no response from his (Thomas’s) side. We have frozen his bank account and his properties have been identified,” said a police officer.