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IL&FS PMLA case: ED attaches 452 crore worth assets of Singapore shell company

The attached assets are in the form of 8.86% shares of ILFS Tamil Nadu Power Company Limited (ITPCL) presently worth around  ₹452 crore (Photo: Mint)Premium
The attached assets are in the form of 8.86% shares of ILFS Tamil Nadu Power Company Limited (ITPCL) presently worth around 452 crore (Photo: Mint)

The assets, provisionally attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act provisions, are in the form of shares 'belonging' to AS Coal Pte Singapore, a shell company owned by British national Jaimin Vyas, the ED said

NEW DELHI : The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth 452 crore of a Singapore-based "shell" or dubious company in connection with its money laundering probe in the IL&FS alleged payment default crisis, the agency said on Tuesday.

The assets, provisionally attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provisions, are in the form of shares "belonging" to A S Coal Pte Singapore, a shell company owned by British national Jaimin Vyas, the central probe agency said in a statement.

"The attached assets are in the form of 8.86% shares of ILFS Tamil Nadu Power Company Limited (ITPCL) presently worth around 452 crore," it said.

This 2019 money laundering case stems from a Delhi Police economic offences wing FIR filed against IRL, ITNL (group companies of IL&FS), its officials and others.

The ED also took cognisance of a compliant filed by its sister probe agency, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office or SFIO, against IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) and its officials.

The ED said its probe found that there "was a well planned conspiracy to defraud IL&FS and Indian banks by Jaimin Vyas in connivance with officials on IL&FS and a Chinese EPC contractor named SEPCO III".

"The company's right to select the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor was illegally delegated to Jaimin Vyas violating the terms and conditions of share purchase agreement," it alleged.

Vyas, it said, nominated SEPCO as EPC contractor and got "kick backs" in guise of fees for consultancy services.

"The same money was routed as equity investment in ITPCL. Subsequently, ITPCL paid SEPCO III the amount (paid earlier by SEPCO to Vyas) by inflating the value of the contract and payments were also made in the guise of early completion of project," it claimed.

"Vyas received illegal gratification from Noble Coal in lieu of awarding coal supply contract (to ITPCL) at an inflated rate," the agency alleged.

The agency, in the past, had attached movable and immovable properties of IFIN committee directors worth 126 crore and properties of two defaulter loanees of IFIN-- SIVA Group and ABG Group--worth 1,400 crore.

It had also arrested a former member of IFIN director Arun Kumar Saha and former MD of ITNL Karunakaran Ramchand followed by a charge sheet filed before a special PMLA court in Mumbai.

It said in the charge sheet that the senior management of IL&FS indulged in acts of commissions and omissions leading to illegal personal gains to them at the expense of the company. 

The ED had said that in order to maintain the credentials of IFIN- so that they could continue to receive high remuneration- the directors allegedly falsified the accounts and indulged in"circuitous transactions" to artificially boost the balance sheet of IL&FS group, whereas actually, these illegal activities were leading to further losses to the group.

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