When Dewan Housing and Finance Limited promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj aka Baba Dewan were arrested for siphoning off over Rs 34,000 crore from 17 banks, their flashy lifestyles came in the spotlight. They were shining in the glam world hosting bollywood stars at parties, and also had ties with druglord Iqbal Mirchi as well as gangster turned politician Jayendra alias Bhai Thakur. At the same time, the Wadhawans also stashed cash from the scam in high end items, including paintings worth Rs 40 crore, two of which they sold from jail.
Dealing art behind bars?
According to an Economic Times report, the tainted brothers managed to sign an agreement for the sale of two paintings held by a firm linked to the, while they were in custody. After being arrested in 2020, the two have been held by different agencies for investigation into the massive scam pulled off using 87 shell firms and more than 2.5 lakh dubious borrowers. After conducting raids on the premises of Delhi-based businessman Ramesh Nawandar, the CBI had unearthed luxury watches such as Rolex and Cartier, along with two paintings worth Rs 33 crore, allegedly owned by the Wadhawan brothers.
A clan tied to scams
In 2010, the Wadhawan or RKW family split their business by mutual agreement to create Housing and Development Infrastructure Limited, and Dewan Housing Finance Limited. But both firms were embroiled in separate scams in the same year in 2019, with HDIL colluding with Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank employees, to give loans worth Rs 6,700 to the almost bankrupt firm. While DHFL was led by Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, Rakesh Wadhawan was arrested for the HDIL fraud.
Yes Bank’s co-founder Rana Kapoor has also been found to have links with the Wadhawans, as he worked with DHFL promoters to launder Rs 5,500 crores. The black money cleared up through the Wadhawan brothers-Yes Bank collaboration, included funds of druglord Iqbal Mirchi. The interior bungalow owned by Sarang Wadhawan aka Sunny Dewan of HDIL, has also been designed by actress Twinkle Khanna, while the likes of Sanjay Dutt and Congress leader Baba Siddiqui were seen at Baba Dewan’s parties.
The family visible in social circles and operating in the shadows of the underworld, show how different worlds converge in Mumbai.
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