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How DHFL diverted Rs 12,700 crore to shadowy firms

By Shrimi Choudhary
January 30, 2020 15:40 IST
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The ED, which is probing the DHFL promoters' role in financing funds to gangster Iqbal Memon (alias Iqbal Mirchi), said Kapil Wadhawan, former chairman and managing director of the debt-laden company, played a very crucial role in these “nefarious transactions” by way of money laundering.

DHFL

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) diverted Rs 12,773 crore of loans to 79 shadowy companies allegedly associated with its promoters in the garb of retail loans to about 100,000 fictitious customers between 2010 and 2015, according to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED, which is probing the DHFL promoters' role in financing funds to gangster Iqbal Memon (alias Iqbal Mirchi), said Kapil Wadhawan, former chairman and managing director of the debt-laden company, played a very crucial role in these “nefarious transactions” by way of money laundering.

 

Wadhawan was arrested by the agency earlier this week in connection with the money-laundering case linked with properties involving Mirchi.

He was remanded in ED custody till Friday.

“This appears to be a scam of wider ramifications wherein the preliminary investigation conducted indicates that more than Rs 12,700 crore have been diverted illegally, and the ‘orchestrator and prime conspirator’ for the scam was Kapil Wadhawan,” the ED said in its enquiry report.

The agency said the search operation was underway to unearth further incriminating documents and records, and that it was suspected that the quantum of scam might increase.

Books of accounts of DHFL showed that Rs 2,186 crore loans (of the Rs 12,773 crore) were given to five companies - Faith Realtors, Marvel Township, Able Realty, Poseidon Realty, and Randon Realtors, which later got amalgamated with Sunblink Real Estate, a company which has been under the ED lens for its transactions with Mirchi properties.

Kapil Wadhawan first diverted huge funds from DHFL to the five shell companies and later amalgamated them with Sunblink to cover the alleged diversion of loans acquired from DHFL, the ED said.

These five entities and Sunblink are inter-related and have been used and controlled by Kapil Wadhawan to layer and obfuscate the origin on monies, it noted.

These loans were disbursed and diverted in five to six years (2010-2016), when in 2010, Kapil’s brother and DHFL promoter Dheeraj Wadhawan bought three properties in Worli, Mumbai, from Mirchi in the name of Sunblink.

This deal was allegedly finalised for surrender of tenancy rights in favour of Sunblink for Rs 225 crore.

The source of the amount paid in India towards the deal, Rs 111 crore, was arranged by DHFL and RKW Developers.

Explaining the modus operandi, the ED said the Wadhawan duo, in connivance with Sunny Bhathija (brother-in-law of Dheeraj and also director of the real estate firm), purchased shares of these five companies.

Essentially Rs 50 crore was disbursed to Sunblink, even when there were no assets in the name of the company except one dilapidated building purchased from Mirchi.

The declared loan policy was given a complete go-by while disbursement.

The payment of this building was made from the loan money and the rest was made in Dubai by Dheeraj.

Further, DHFL extended the loan to five firms amounting to Rs 1,500 crore between 2010 and 2011, which added up to Rs 2,186 crore in the books of DHFL until July 2019.

The enquiry further reveals that DHFL had conveniently surpassed the finance committee of directors whose approval was required for any loan sanction above Rs 200 crore.

However, Kapil Wadhawan during the questioning stated that there were certain unsecured loans with DHFL and these were to be secured.

It is seen that new properties purchased from Mirchi were shown as mortgaged against the existing loans.

The so-called third-largest mortgage player has been in the liquidity crisis for long. On November 20, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India superseded its board and placed under an administrator.

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Shrimi Choudhary in New Delhi
Source: source
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