Lockdown slows down assets attachment in money laundering cases

 thehindu.com  04/06/2020 20:35:07 

The process of attaching assets worth hundreds of crores in the money laundering probe into several bank fraud cases has slowed down due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The latest case taken up by the Enforcement Directorate is against the then Yes Banks promoter-director Rana Kapoor and others.

The agency has already identified over a dozen properties in the posh areas of Delhi and Mumbai for initiating the process of attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, apart from assets located in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

While the statements of several key witnesses and suspects in the case are yet to be recorded, it is learnt that the lockdown has delayed the process for issuing the provisional attachment orders.

The most urgent cases of appeals against bail orders and remand requests are currently being taken up, said an official.

In the Yes Bank case, the accused had invested about 6,000 crore through 78 firms. Most of these companies were set up in the name of Mr. Kapoors wife and daughters.

Among the overseas assets located by the ED, three are in London, New York and France. While 20.66 million was invested in a New York hotel, 30 million was invested in a hotel in London, according to the official.

The agency is also pursuing many other bank fraud cases involving over 10,000 crore. In November last year, the CBI had registered more than 40 cases that were to be taken by the ED.

The biggest case pertained to cheating a consortium of banks of about 3,592 crore. Money laundering investigation in the PMC bank fraud case is also under way.

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