The ED on Tuesday said it has attached assets worth Rs 315 crore in connection with a money laundering and alleged bank fraud case against a firm promoted by TDP MP YS Chowdary.
It said a provisional order for attachment was issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attaching immovable and movable properties of Viceroy Hotels Ltd, Hyderabad in a bank fraud case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had taken up the case on the basis of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR filed against Best & Crompton Engineering Pvt Ltd (BCEPL) and their officials, who entered into a criminal conspiracy during 2010-2013 for "defrauding 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. BCEPL is a part of Sujana Group of Companies, the ED said.
Mr Chowdary, Rajya Sabha MP of the Telugu Desam Party, is considered a close aide of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and party president N Chandrababu Naidu and has been alleged by the agency to be the promoter of Sujana group of companies.
Mr Chowdary was a Minister of State (MoS) in the Union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before N Chandrababu Naidu quit the NDA early last year over the Centre's refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh.
The ED, in its statement, said, "Several shell companies were floated and money was circulated among the companies using bogus invoices and part of loan amount was diverted to one Mahal Hotels which is also a shell company floated by the Sujana Group."
"After circuitous transactions finally the amounts were paid to Viceroy Hotels Ltd in the guise of business transaction agreement between Viceroy Hotels Ltd and Mahal Hotels Pvt Ltd," the agency said.
The company Viceroy Hotels, it said, "admitted their liability towards Mahal Hotels as Rs 315 crore and hence the properties of Viceroy Hotels Ltd to the extent of this amount were provisionally attached."
The ED had carried out raids in the premises of these firms in multiple locations including Hyderabad and Delhi in the past.
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