Kolkata, Dec 24: The Enforcement Directorate arrested businessman Parasmal Lodha from Mumbai for converting over Rs 25 crore old currency into new notes. A fierce businessman, Lodha was called, " Extra Floor Lodha or Fiddler on the Roof," after he added extra floors illegally to a building. Lodha however managed to legalise this thanks to the clout he had with the authorities and police.
Lodha is a Kolkata based real estate developer who has a stake in mining, consultancy and finance firms. He is alleged to be close to Chennai based sand mining tycoon J Sekhar Reddy who was arrested by the CBI. It is suspected that Reddy during his questioning gave out the name of Lodha.
Who is Parasmal Lodha?
Lodha is originally a resident of Rajasthan. He arrived in Kolkata along with a distant relative in 1977. Lodha was arrested at the Mumbai airport when he was trying to leave for Malaysia where he planned on converting demonetised notes worth Rs 25 crore into new currency.
Considered to be close to the several authorities and police personnel, Lodha was referred to as 'extra floor lodha,' or 'fiddler on the roof.' He added extra floors to an under-construction building illegally, but managed his way out thanks to his clout.
Lodha after arriving at Kolkata completed his graduation in commerce. He would sell foreign magazines to classmates at a higher price. Before he became a full time realtor he would sell foreign goods such as watches and perfumed.
Lodha was in the news for his aggressive takeover of Peerless General Finance and Investment Company limited in 1991. This firm was then India's largest non-banking financial institution. It is alleged that he had used gangsters to threaten P C Sen the then Managing Director of the firm to sell his majority stake.