Mumbai News: ED Files Prosecution Complaint Against Builder Lalit Tekchandani

Mumbai News: ED Files Prosecution Complaint Against Builder Lalit Tekchandani

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed that builder Lalit Tekchandani used funds to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by flat buyers for his housing project in Navi Mumbai to buy a dozen properties and other assets.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 11:01 PM IST
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Enforcement Directorate (ED) | File Image

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed that builder Lalit Tekchandani used funds to the tune of Rs423 crore paid by flat buyers for his housing project in Navi Mumbai to buy a dozen properties and other assets.

A few of these properties were ultimately transferred back to Tekchandani and his family, according to the agency. The builder gained Rs119.6 crore while his wife benefited to the tune of Rs23.39 crore from these funds, the ED said.

Last month the agency had had submitted its prosecution complaint against Tekchandani and 15 others for alleged money laundering after several investors who bought flats in his housing project filed cases at police stations across the state.

The ED has stated that Supreme Construction & Developer launched the Hex City / Clan City project in 2009-10. The company started collecting earnest money deposits (EMD) against bookings in the project from prospective buyers in year 2010. Booking of flats started in 2013, and the company collected Rs423 crore from 1,650 home buyers.

In his statement before the ED, Tekchandani has claimed that while he was a director in the company till 2016, it purchased 21 properties, most of which were later sold. He admitted that some of these properties were either in his name or his relatives’. The ED claimed that an inspection of Supreme Construction’s records showed that in some cases the properties were transferred without payment of any consideration.

In some cases, the agency claimed, when the sale of properties earned funds, the money was transferred to the accounts of entities linked to Tekchandani and Manulla Kanchwala, chairman of Supreme Construction.

“Valuation of properties done by government-approved valuers were knowingly kept undervalued at the time of transfer of the same in favour of Lalit Tekchandanti and his related entities,” the ED said in its complaint.

“Even the full consideration amounts have also not paid to M/s SCDPL in most of the cases, clearly showing the nexus between Lalit Tekchandani and Manulla M. Kanchwala. This shows the culpable mens rea on the part of the accused persons involved in the laundering of proceeds of crime,” the ED claimed.

Besides, Tekchandani and his family members are associated with 21 entities. In his statement, Tekchandani revealed that his other companies do not have any business activities and the only source of income of these companies was from the interest received from the investments made in the form of fixed deposits and rent received from the properties owned by companies.

The agency claimed that the directors of Supreme Construction siphoned off the funds in form of salary, loan preference shares, and investments.

During further investigation, it was revealed that various entities of directors of Supreme Construction were used as corporate vehicles to siphon off the proceeds of crime by creating a complex structure of companies and firms and they have attempted to hide the original source of money. “The proceeds of crime were first transferred out of M/s SCDPL in the form of investment/loan and advances in companies like M/s Krishiiv Sports Pvt ltd, M/s Krishiiv Bizoperations Pvt Ltd, M/s Binod Ferro Alloys Pvt Ltd, M/s KA Builcon and Infrastrcuture Pvt Ltd, etc.”

The agency claimed that the proceeds of crime were ultimately parked in the form of investment in shares and FDs in the personal name of directors of Supreme Construction, their relatives and various entities controlled and owned by them.

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