The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday said it has attached immovable and movable properties of Viceroy Hotels Ltd in Hyderabad worth Rs 315 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 in a bank fraud case.
In a statement, the ED said an investigation under the PMLA was initiated on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI in Bengaluru against Best & Crompton Engineering Pvt Ltd (BCEPL) and their officials for alleged criminal conspiracy between 2010 and 2013 to defraud Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank, and Corporation Bank.
The total loss caused to the consortium of banks due to the fraud was to the tune of Rs 364 crore, it said. BCEPL is a part of Sujana group.
During the investigation, searches were carried out at various places at Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and New Delhi at the residential and business premises of the key officials of BCEPL as well as other companies of Sujana group.
During these searches, incriminating material including documents and electronic devices were seized, officials said.
In the business premises of Sujana group at Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta Hyderabad, 124 rubber stamps of different companies and entities were seized, including the rubber stamps of BCEPL, their Letter of Credit beneficiary companies, sundry debtors and trade associates, the ED said.
Investigations also revealed that several shell companies were floated and money was circulated among the companies using bogus invoices and part of the loan amount was diverted to Mahal Hotels, which is also a shell company floated by Sujana group, the ED said.
After circuitous transactions, finally the sums were paid to Viceroy Hotels in the guise of Business Transaction Agreement between Viceroy Hotels Ltd and Mahal Hotels Pvt Ltd.
According to the ED, Viceroy Hotels admitted liability towards Mahal Hotels at Rs 315 crore. Accordingly, the properties of Viceroy Hotels to the extent of approximately Rs 315 crore were provisionally attached, the ED said.
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