The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to register a second case against Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor, his wife Bindu Kapoor and Avantha Realty’s Gautam Thapar, in a sign that the agency is widening its investigation into money laundering allegations against the three.
The case, which was first registered by the CBI on March 13, pertains to the purchase of a prime property on Delhi’s Amrita Shergill Marg.
With a fresh case on the deal, the ED will parallelly conduct its own investigations even as the CBI does its own.
The Kapoors are said to have made the deal through Bindu’s Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd, which is alleged to have acquired the property, owned by Thapar, for Rs 378 crore, much below the market price.
In return, Yes Bank, under Kapoor, allegedly relaxed existing loans of Thapar’s Avantha Group, and also extended new credit lines.
The CBI’s First Information Report (FIR) further says that post the deal, the property was immediately mortgaged by Bliss Abode to India Bulls Housing Finance Ltd for a loan of Rs 685 crore.
The transaction will be in the focus on March 21, when Thapar has to appear for questioning by the ED.
The agency is already investigating the three for alleged money laundering in deals that include DHFL’s Wadhawan brothers, RKW Developers, and Doit Urban Ventures Ltd, a company owned by daughters of the Kapoors.
Kapoor, who was arrested in the case, and the rest are accused of laundering Rs 4,300 crore by receiving alleged kickbacks in lieu of extending sizeable loans to big borrowers through the bank. The loans later turned non-performing assets.
Kapoor is in ED custody till March 20.
The investigation against the fallen promoter continues even as at Yes Bank, efforts are on to normalise operations. Bank customers can avail full banking services from March 19.
The real estate deals
Apart from the Amrita Shergill Marg property, transactions related to two other properties – worth about Rs 1,000 crore in all – are now being investigated by the agencies.
The other two properties are also in the key areas of the capital. These properties are also owned by Bliss Properties, which has assets at Chankaya Puri and Diplomatic Enclave, on the Sardar Patel Marg.
As Moneycontrol had earlier reported, the Kapoor family has been trying to sell these assets, and the ED suspects that the former Yes Bank promoter was planning to flee the country after liquidating his assets in India.
The ED is investigating these cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Directorate has summoned large borrowers of Yes Bank, and these included media baron Subhash Chandra, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, Indiabulls group founder Sameer Gehlout and Cox and Kings India head Peter Kerkar.
On the other hand, the CBI has also been investigating these two cases. The difference here being that the Bureau is looking into the case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On March 13, it had conducted searches at the houses and offices of the Kapoors and Thapar in Mumbai and Delhi/NCR.
As per sources, “the CBI has registered around half a dozen preliminary enquiries in this case including against Dewan Housing Finance Limited former promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan”.
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