In its prosecution complaint or chargesheet against Lalit Goyal, Vice-chairman cum Managing Director of IREO Group of companies, the Enforcement Directorate on Friday called him "settler" and named him the beneficiary of an overseas Trust which owns and controls entities holding assets outside India, and that recent Pandora Papers Leak has also named four entities owned by him holding assets of more than USD 77.73 Million (Rs 575 crore) overseas.
The ED filed the prosecution complaint against Mr Goyal and others in a Special Court at Panchkula, Haryana under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in a case related to a multi-crore real estate scam.
The federal agency initiated the money-laundering investigation on the basis of First Information Reports (FIRs) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 registered at various Police Stations across Gurugram, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Delhi. A total of 30 FIRs have been identified in the case so far.
In the prosecution complaint, the agency mentioned its investigation revealed that "over 1,050 homebuyers and investors of IREO Projects, namely IREO Fiveriver, The Corridors, IREO City, Gurgaon Hills in Haryana and IREO Waterfront Township in Punjab, among others, had made advance payments but are yet to receive their booked flats or plots despite elapsing of more than 4-5 years".
The investigation further reveals that IREO Group of companies could not complete its projects due to diversion and siphoning of funds, said the ED, adding "customer receipts to the tune of Rs 1,225 crore have been diverted outside India in the form of redemption, purchase, transfer and buy-back of shares and Fully Convertible Debentures (FCDs) violating the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and other laws".
"The modus operandi adopted by the group includes routing of funds to India from various entities based in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, recording of fictitious expenses in the books of account, writing off a project in progress, interest-free loans and advances to sister concerns and round-tripping of funds through shell companies and creation of assets within and outside India," the ED said.
"Investigation further revealed that Lalit Goyal is a settler and named beneficiary of an overseas Trust which owns and controls entities holding assets outside India. Recent Pandora Papers Leak has also named four entities (which are beneficially owned by Lalit Goyal) which are holding assets of more than USD 77.73 Million (Rs. 575 Crore approximately) overseas."
Mr Goyal was arrested on November 16 last year after Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued against him. Presently, he is in judicial custody. The ED has conducted searches on November 22 last year in this matter.