ED attaches ₹1,122 crore assets of Vadodara firm DPIL in bank fraud case
The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth ₹1,122 crore in connection with allegations that Vadodara-based Diamond Power Infrastructure Limited (DPIL) and its directors cheated 11 banks of ₹2,654 crore.
The central probe agency had filed a criminal case against the firm and its promoters under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR, and had searched its premises last month.
"The assets of DPIL and its related companies such as Diamond Power Transformer Ltd, Diamond Projects Ltd, Mayfair Leisures and Northway Spaces have been attached as part of the provisional order.
"The properties include plant, machinery, building and land of in Vadodara, three windmills in Bhuj, residential bungalows/flats of the Bhatnagar (promoters) family, unsold flats, under-construction hotel and other land parcels held by related companies of DPIL, all located in Vadodara," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.
The agency said the company, DPIL, through its related entities, was able to gain funds "fraudulently" to the tune of Rs 261 crore by twisting and manipulating the facility of Letter of Credit (LC) from the banks.
"It also diverted huge amount of funds received as loan/cash credit to its real estate companies such as Northway Spaces and Mayfair Leisures," it said.
The promoters, it said, through web of companies and cross holdings were found to be the "main decision makers", controllers and thus the beneficial owners of the company and all the related companies.
"Therefore, it appears there was little genuine business activity done by the Diamond group of companies and most of the business shown on records was from such fictitious transactions and this has resulted into default of Rs 2654.40 crore to banks," the ED said.
The ED is probing if the alleged defaulted loans were laundered to create illegal assets and black money by the accused.
The CBI had said DPIL, which manufactures electric cables and equipment, is promoted by S N Bhatnagar and his sons Amit Bhatnagar and Sumit Bhatnagar, who were also the executives of the firm.
It is alleged that DPIL, through its management, had fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both public and private) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs 2,654.40 crore as on June 29, 2016, the CBI said.
The loan amount of Rs 2,654 crore was declared a non-performing asset in 2016-17, it said.
The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities, in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Banks defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the banks consortium.
Among them, Bank of Indias exposure to the company is Rs 670.51 crore, Bank of Barodas Rs 348.99 crore and that of ICICI Bank Rs 279.46 crore, the CBI FIR said.