The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday conducted raids on at least six locations in Mumbai and Delhi-NCR region in connection with the multi-crore IL&FS payment default crisis and seized foreign currency worth Rs 6 lakh, officials said.
They said the action by the central probe agency came after it registered a criminal complaint Tuesday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the alleged payment default case.
Searches were being conducted at the "residential premises of key officials" linked to the erstwhile management of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (ILFS), including its former chairman Ravi Parthasarathy and few others, they said.
"During the search proceedings, foreign currencies amounting to about Rs 6 lakh, various property documents, incriminating documents, records and media have been recovered and seized from the premises," the ED said in a statement.
The agency added it has filed the PMLA case "against IL&FS Group and others on the basis of a complaint registered by the Delhi Police EOW for alleged cheating and forgery on part of IL&FS Group and its managing committee during the period from 2010-2018".
"It was alleged in the FIR (of the EOW) that the group has taken investments in the IL&FS group concerns on the basis of false projections and has been involved in forging the books of accounts and in providing loans to subsidiaries and related companies and thereby layering and routing the funds," the ED said.
The raids were conducted in Mumbai and locations in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR), including Gurgaon, the agency said.
The officials added that the investigators are looking at collecting additional evidence and documents apart from what they have obtained till now as part of the probe.
The debt crisis at the infrastructure lender came to light following a series of defaults by its group companies beginning September, 2018.
IL&FS has defaulted on payment of loans to SIDBI and along with its subsidiaries has a combined debt of over Rs 91,000 crore.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) case under the Delhi Police was filed in December last year.
Ashish Begwani, Director of Enso Infrastructures (P) Ltd, had filed the case against officials of IL&FS Rail Ltd for allegedly causing Rs 70 crore loss to his company by fraudulent means.
Begwani had alleged in his complaint that in August 2010, he was approached by two officials of IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd and he had invested Rs 170 crore in IL&FS Rail Ltd, a special purpose vehicle for Gurgaon Metro project, in order to take its 15 per cent shares.
"However, over a period of time, the complainant observed that the company is not performing profitably and funds are being misused," an EOW official had said quoting Begwani's complaint.
The ED will probe if funds generated illegally in this case were laundered to create illegitimate assets by the accused, officials said.
The crisis-ridden infrastructure conglomerate IL&FS group, once hailed as a pioneer of public-private partnership, has come under the scanner of multiple regulators, for alleged defaults related to financial disclosures and corporate governance.
Subsequently, the government intervened in the crisis and re-constituted the company's board and the matter is now being heard by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
IL&FS was incorporated in 1987, initially promoted by the Central Bank of India, Housing Development Finance Corporation and Unit Trust of India.
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