June 15, 2024

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) reported cash, bank balances, and fixed deposits of Rs 30 crore were confiscated in recent raids. The properties belonged to builder Lalit Tekchandani, and his partners Amit and Vicky Wadhwani. Investigations are underway to determine the extent of the pair’s involvement in a money laundering case. This case is being looked into by the authorities under the auspices of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), in force since 2002.

The ED registered a case against Tekchandani based on FIRs lodged at the Chembur police station in Mumbai and the Taloja police station in Navi Mumbai. These FIRs pertain to a housing fraud involving Tekchandani’s family and associates, committed against prospective homeowners for a project in Taloja, Navi Mumbai. This project, named Hex City/Clan City, was in development by Supreme Construction and Developer Pvt Ltd.

In these FIRs, the company, under Tekchandani’s representation, was found to have amassed funds over Rs 400 crore from 1,700 potential homeowners for the said project. However, due to delays in the project’s completion, these homeowners found themselves in a bind without any flats or refunds.

The initial PMLA investigation indicated the funds from the homeowners were misappropriated by the builder for the creation of assets and personal gain. During its raids, the ED seized Rs 27.5 lakh in cash and uncovered documents showing the purchase of properties under multiple names, including those of Tekchandani’s family. Additionally, digital devices, other documentary evidence, and fixed deposits with a face value of Rs 29.73 crore were found.

Tekchandani is facing a slew of criminal charges, with at least six cases registered by Mumbai police. Last month saw his arrest by Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The housing fraud unit of EOW is currently investigating these cases. Among these charges is Bharat Shah’s case, a businessman based in Malad, alleging Tekchandani defrauded him of Rs 3.44 crore with his co-directors in the real estate firm Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Pvt Ltd, Amit and Vicky.

Just before Tekchandani’s arrest, his residence and office and two other city premises were searched by the EOW, yielding incriminating documents.

FAQs

What charges is Lalit Tekchandani facing?

Tekchandani is currently facing several serious charges relating to money laundering and financial fraud. He is accused of misappropriating funds intended for a large housing development and using them for personal gain.

What action has been taken by the Enforcement Directorate?

The Enforcement Directorate has seized assets worth Rs 30 crore during multiple raids. These include cash, bank balances, fixed deposits and a variety of other assets. These seizures were made in an effort to recover some of the funds allegedly misappropriated.

What was the role of Amit and Vicky Wadhwani in this case?

Amit and Vicky Wadhwani are alleged to be co-directors along with Lalit Tekchandani. They are apparently involved in the alleged money laundering and are currently being investigated for their role in this case.