HDIL promoters diverted Rs 160-crore PMC loans to 3 Delhi-based hotels: ED

The 3 hotels belong to Rakesh Wadhawan and his family, says ED

PMC Bank
PMC Bank account holders outside RBI office, at BKC in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Promoters of Housing Development Infrastructure (HDIL) have allegedly diverted Rs 160 crore of loan from Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank to three Delhi-based hotels, according to the probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).  

The enforcement agency has identified three hotels belonging to Libra Hotels, in which Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan is both a director and a shareholder. Sources said Libra Hotels was a parent firm and had three hotels — Hotel Conclave Executive, Hotel Conclave, and Hotel Conclave Comfort. Libra Hotels is run by Rakesh Wadhawan’s daughter Romy Pawan Mehra and her husband Pawan Mehra. Both are directors of this firm. 

“These hotels are in three star categories and not in the luxury segment. We are examining the mode of transaction in these firms. Prima facie evidence reveals that substantial portion of loan amount has gone to these hospitality firms,” said an official privy to the development. He said the agency might attach these hotels if the transactions were proved. 

Meanwhile, ED has identified about 50 assets and initiated attachment process in the matter. It has so far frozen assets worth Rs 500 crore and identified movable and immovable assets of Rs 3,882 crore owned by HDIL, its directors, promoters, PMC Bank officials, and other related entities in the bank fraud case.

The agency has moved application in the special court for provisional attachment of Wadhawans’ plush property located in Maharashtra’s Alibaug. Besides, it is examining the Rs 100-crore worth of sea-facing bunglow belonging to a close friend of Rakesh Waddhawan. 

HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, arrested in connection with the Rs  4,355 crore PMC scam, have been sent to the judicial custody.

The duo had been arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police in connection with the case earlier this month. It alleged that the bank management, in cahoots with the Wadhawans, concealed from the banking regulators' scrutiny huge loan defaults by the HDIL group firms.  Sources said a huge amount had been diverted to 44 accounts created to divert money linked to Wadhawans and entities related to HDIL. The probe is on into at least 20,000-plus dummy accounts created by PMC to hide its bad loans. 

ED is also ascertaining the possible links of some people, including NCP leader Praful Patel, who are named in the passenger manifest of an aircraft belonging to HDIL promoters. 

The documents examined by ED show that Patel used the aircraft multiple times in 2012 when he was the civil aviation minister.

The probe agency, in this case, has seized two aircraft — Bombardier Challenger-300 VT and Falcon 2000 VT, owned by Privilege Airways. Rakesh Wadhawan and son Sarang Wadhawan are directors of Privilege Airways.