The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized/frozen assets worth more than Rs30 crore linked to builder Lalit Tekchandani, who is accused of cheating over 1,700 homebuyers of Rs400 crore and indulging in money laundering.
22 locations in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai searched
On February 7, the central agency searched 22 locations in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai connected to the accused. The action led to the seizure/freezing of assets, including Rs27.5 lakh cash, bank balances and fixed deposits having a face value of Rs29.73 crore. Incriminating documents related to the acquisition of properties in various names, including those of Tekchandani's family members, and digital devices were also recovered.
The ED's investigation is based on two FIRs registered by the Taloja and Chembur police, accusing M/s Supreme Construction and Developer Pvt Ltd, represented by Tekchandani and others, of collecting substantial funds from prospective buyers for a Taloja project. The probe, so far, coupled with statements of the buyers has revealed that the Hex City project was delayed multiple times after it started in 2000. Consisting of nine towers, each with 35 floors, Hex City was later rechristened as Clan City in 2008-09.
The buyers were assured that they would receive possession in 2013. However, several deadline extensions left them without flats or refunds. While Tekchandani continued to give false promises of possession, preliminary investigations indicated that the collected funds were diverted by the builder for personal enrichment and creation of assets in various names, including those of family members.