ED attaches Rs. 112-cr. assets in loan fraud case

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday provisionally attached immovable assets worth Rs.112 crore as part of its money-laundering investigations against Century Communication Limited and its promoters in a bank loan fraud case. The firm had been granted Rs. 555 crore loan.

Four pieces of property in Andheri (West), Bandra (West) and Khar of Mumbai, over 2 acres in Chennai and another property in the posh Maharani Bagh in Delhi have been attached.

In February, 2012, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against the company and its promoters — Prabodh Kumar Tewari and his family members — on a complaint from a consortium of 10 banks, led by Indian Overseas Bank. The role of bank officials is also under the scanner.

Based on the CBI probe, the ED initiated investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to recover the proceeds of the alleged fraud. The agency filed a charge sheet stating that the company was sanctioned four term loans totalling Rs.555.52 crore between January 2004 and May 2009.

Indian Overseas bank lost Rs.163.19 crore and the other members of the consortium lost Rs.301.65 crore. The loans, obtained allegedly on the basis of forged documents and in conspiracy with some bank officials, were sanctioned for setting up new studios for post-production of films in Noida, Chennai and Mumbai.

“Mr. Tewari and his sons floated several fictitious firms like Avitel Electronics, Amarjyoti Vyapaar, Via Earth Private Limited, Third Eye Communication, Asiatic Petroleum Co. Ltd. and Spencer Cables Ltd, and diverted the loan amounts to their bank accounts. The funds were subsequently transferred to their personal accounts and used for acquiring immovable properties in their names,” an ED official said. Some amount was also sent abroad.