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“Money Laundering” ; ED arrests businessman in case against Omkar Realtors and Developers

The Enforcement Directorate has caught a businessman in association with a money-laundering lawsuit against city-based realty group Omkar Realtors and Developers. They said Sachin Joshi was detained under several sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Sunday after he was interrogated here in association with the probe.

Joshi is said to be an actor and a promoter of the JMJ business organization. His character and connections with the realty group are being reviewed, they said. Joshi is anticipated to be presented before a local court here on Monday where the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will try his remand for custodial questioning, they said. The central probe agency had last month held the chairman of Omkar Realtors and Developers, Kamal Kishore Gupta and MD Babulal Varma (managing director) after invasions were taken out against them and the group. The PMLA case concerns claimed inconsistencies in the execution of the SRA (slum rehabilitation authority) project in the growth of a housing society in Mumbai. The company and the two executives are also facing allegations of ”diverting” over Rs 400 crore loan from Yes bank.

The ED case has been registered after examining an FIR of Aurangabad (Maharashtra) district police that was filed under several sections of IPC like cheating and criminal breach of trust, the agency had said earlier. The ED said that ”Omkar Realtors and Developers Pvt Ltd and its directors bought a firm ‘Surana Construction’ which had SRA rights for re-development of Anand Nagar SRA Cooperative Housing Society in Mumbai’s Wadala area. However, Omkar and its promoters did not pay back the amount due to the seller and also mortgaged future FSI (floor space index) of the said SRA project and took huge amounts of loans,” it said. The ED also declared its inquiry found that ”loans to the tune of Rs 410 crore were diverted and not used for intended purposes.”

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”No work of SRA building was undertaken. The requisite rules and procedures under SRA were ignored by the accused and documents relating to names of slum dwellers were forced to claim more FSI for mortgaging the same with banks for taking the loans,” the ED had asserted. Responding to the confinements of its topmost administrators last month, the company had stated that it was ”emphatic that Omkar Group is not in violation of any lending norms and slum approvals”.

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