The Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached 48 immovable properties and assets worth ₹60.44 crore of the former cooperative bank chairman Gilbert Baptist and his family on Friday for money laundering in a financial fraud case related to diversion of depositors money in Malaika Multi-State Cooperative Credit Society (MMCCS). ED issued provisional orders for attachment of properties in the alleged ₹200 crore diversion of investors funds by Gilbert Baptist controlled MMCCS to other business run by family members of the Baptist clan.
The enforcement agency initiated money laundering investigations under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR and two charge sheets filed by the Mira Road Police Station in the irregularities of MMCCS established in 2010 by Gilbert Baptist and Marceline Baptist.
The Baptis duo later appointed various other dummy directors of MMCCS controlled by chairman Gilbert Baptist to siphon investors funds to purchase properties in the names of family and associates and accounts became Non Performing Assets (NPA) in the books of cooperative credit society.
"All other members were following his instructions for day to day operations. Investors were systematically lured to deposit their savings in multiple schemes with promises of great returns. The majority of the deposits were diverted to funds his own business ventures," said ED in a statement.
According to ED probe, Baptist had opened various businesses in the names of Malaika Appliances Pvt Ltd (MAPL), Yasoma Industries, Yasoma Wedding Sarees and Malaika Starcity Project which were run from the investments received from MMCCS. The financial auditors of MMCCS had pointed out several irregularities during annual periodic audits were ignored by Gilbert Baptist and his aides.
ED has alleged that no prudent financial norms for sanctioning loans were followed. His business ventures lost money and soon the accounts of MMCCS became NPA resulting in losses to thousands of innocent investors due fraud played by MMCCS chairman Gilbert Baptist.
"The proceeds of crime acquired by diversion of depositors money was used to create immovable properties in Maharashtra and Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka, in the name of M/s MAPL, Gilbert Baptist, Marceline Baptist, Elcy Rodrigues, Reena Jose, Manohar Shetty, Sushant Sabat, Malaika Star City Project, Yasoma Industries and Yasoma Wedding and the same have been attached," the ED official said.