- Kapil, Dheeraj Wadhawan detained in Mahabaleshwar
- They were under investigation in multiple financial fraud cases
- They violated nationwide COVID-19 lockdown: Police
Billionaires Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, the promoters of scam-hit shadow lender Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), have been detained in a Maharashtra hill station after they were caught violating the coronavirus lockdown with more than 20 family members. The state government has filed a case against them under the Disaster Management Act.
A senior officer has been sent on compulsory leave for helping the Wadhawan family - being investigated in multiple cases of fraud - drive in a group of 23 down to their farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar, in violation of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
The police, alerted by local people, tracked down the group at the farmhouse. They have all been quarantined at a government school in Panchgani.
The Wadhawans have been booked under various sections for violating government orders, said Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra Home Minister.
The CBI court, which had put out a non-bailable warrant against the Wadhawans in March, has asked the local authorities not to release them without the investigation agency's clearance.
Sources have told NDTV that the CBI is in touch with the police and is taking steps to prevent them slipping away.
The family drove to the town, over 250 km from Mumbai, in five cars on Wednesday night. They had passes issued by IPS officer Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home, in the Maharashtra government; he called their trip a "family emergency" in an official letter.
"This is to just inform you that the following are well-known to me as they are my family friends and traveling from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for family emergency...Hence you are hereby informed through this letter to cooperate with them to reach their destination," said the letter signed by the IPS officer, along with details of those traveling in each of the five cars.
According to the police, the Wadhawans took their cooks and servants. FIRs have been filed against all of them.
Brothers Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan had lookout notices in their name by the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation and are accused in the Yes Bank and DHFL fraud cases.
They are facing two investigations, one related to the diversion of at least Rs 14,000 crore from DHFL using fake borrowers and alleged kickbacks taken by Yes Bank promoters in exchange for loan to DHFL.
Last month, they cited the coronavirus pandemic to skip summons from the Enforcement Directorate for the third time in the money laundering probe against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor.
The Wadhawan brothers had said "health is a priority".
The CBI searched their premises on March 9 but they were missing.
The opposition BJP has sought an explanation from the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government and demanded the resignation of the state Home Minister.