IL&FS gave loans immediately after suffering losses in 2008

Mumbai: The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) had allegedly advanced a Rs 35 crore loan to Kohinoor CTNL immediately after exiting the venture in 2008, thus registering a loss of Rs 135 crore.

As the probe into the alleged default payment involving Kohinoor CTNL venture by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) deepens, many financial irregularities committed by partners in the venture are learnt to have started to emerge out of the closet.

Sources in the know of the probe revealed that IL&FS had invested (in equity) Rs 200 crore in the Kohinoor CTNL venture, which took off in 2005. The non-banking financing firm had advanced Rs 25 crore in loans. However, in 2008, it exited the project by surrendering its shares for Rs 90 crore, thereby suffering a loss of Rs 135 crore. Interestingly, it advanced another Rs 35 crore loans to Kohinoor CTNL in the immediate aftermath, sources said.

Soon after the exit of IL&FS, Matoshree Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, another partner in the venture, had allegedly pocketed Rs 80 crore by surrendering its shares.

Matoshree Infra -- with Rajan Shirodkar, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief, Raj Thackeray, and six others as partners -- had formed a consortium, Kohinoor KPPL along with Unmesh Joshi and a CA firm. Kohinoor KPPL later became a 51 per cent equity partner in Kohinoor CTNL, the company that was floated to develop the 4.8 acre-land belonging to erstwhile Kohinoor Mills, No 3. IL&FS became a 49 per cent equity partner in the firm through its investment and loan.

Sources claim that Matoshree’s contribution in the venture was a meagre Rs 4 crore -- Rs 3 crore raised from co-operative banks and the rest Rs 1 crore from two private firms. “Practically, no individual contribution was made by partners in the firm (Matoshree) in this project,” sources said.

The probe has revealed that another Rs 36 crore investment had been made by a host of individuals in Kohinoor CTNL, allegedly suggested by Shirodkar. The revelations come in the backdrop of Shirodkar’s claims made to the Free Press Journal that Matoshree Infra had invested Rs 40 crore in the project.

Sources said that while exiting the project, Matoshree Infra had taken Rs 80 crore as part of its equity contribution (by claiming appreciation in the property price), apart from the principal investment along with interest (the figures are yet to be known).

Of the Rs 80 crore, Raj Thackeray, who held 25 per cent partnership in Matoshree Infra, had allegedly received Rs 20 crore, while the remaining Rs 60 crore was distributed among the other seven partners, sources said.

While trying to establish the money trail, the probe agency is learnt to have asked the partners to come clear on the investments made by them subsequent to the receipt of their shares in the deal. The private investors in the project are going to be brought under the ambit of the probe, sources added.

Shirodkar's questioning will continue on Wednesday.

Unmesh Joshi had continued with the venture till 2017 before it changed hands. By then, the cumulative default suffered by IL&FS is said to have gone up to Rs 860 crore.

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