Representational Image/Power
Representational Image/Power

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said it has raided the premises of a resolution professional and a former director of debt-ridden BPSL after it found some "clandestine clearances" were taking place from the company's plant in Odisha.

The NCLT on September 5 last year approved JSW Steel's Rs 19,700 resolution plan for Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL).

However, JSW Steel is seeking protection from an ongoing criminal money laundering investigation against the former promoters of BPSL.

The central probe agency said its sleuths searched the official and residential premises of resolution professional M K Khandelwal and a former director of BPSL on Wednesday in Gurgaon and Delhi and "seized incriminating documents, laptops, mobile phones, extracts and other valuables such as jewellery worth Rs 86 lakh".

It also alleged that the former management of the company was indulging in purported illegal activities despite insolvency process being carried out.

The ED is probing the firm and its former directors under the anti-money laundering law for alleged "siphoning and diversion" of loans.

During the probe, the agency said in a statement, "It was gathered that BPSL had engaged in clandestine clearances of finished goods from its Odisha plant to its plants at Kolkata and Chandigarh."

"As per the information available so far, goods valued about Rs 700 crore had been cleared without payment of applicable taxes and duties and without issuance of any statutory invoice," it said.

"It was also gathered that this practice, which was resorted to by the erstwhile management of the company, had continued even after initiation of CIRP (corporate insolvency resolution process) and some irregularities on the part of resolution professional M K Khandelwal were also revealed," the ED claimed.

The statement added that the agency has seized "incriminating documents indicating receipt of cash by Khandelwal while discharging duties of resolution professional or interim resolution professional".

"Huge cash payments to various individuals outside the books of accounts indicate siphoning and generation of cash from various concerns undergoing process of CIRP under the NCLT (national company law tribunal)," the ED said.

The ED has been probing BPSL, its promoter Sanjay Singal and others on charges of "illegally diverting huge amount of funds out of loans taken by BPSL from various banks".

"These funds were used for creation of assets (including equity investment in BPSL and movable/immovable properties in Delhi and London) in the name of companies controlled by Sanjay Singal," the ED has said.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal