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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Raj Singh Gehlot, owner of the Gurugram-based famous Ambience Mall in an alleged bank loan fraud case worth more than 800 crore.

According to the ED, he was arrested in Gurugram on Wednesday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) for committing Bank fraud with the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Consortium.

Last year, the ED had initiated an investigation under PMLA on the basis of FIR registered by State ACB, Jammu against M/s AHPL and its Directors for money laundering in the construction and development of the 5-star 'Leela Ambience Convention Hotel' situated at 1, CBD, Maharaj Surajmal Road, Near Yamuna Sports Complex, Delhi, said the investigation agency.

It stated that investigation under PMLA revealed that a huge part of a loan amount of more than 800 crore, which was sanctioned by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was siphoned off by M/s AHPL and Raj Singh Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies controlled by them.

It further stated that a substantial part of the loan money was transferred by M/s AHPL to several companies and individuals on the pretext of "payment of running bills and advance for the supply of material/work executed". The employees of Ambience Group and the associates of Gehlot were made the Directors/Proprietors of these companies and Gehlot was the 'authorised signatory' in many of these companies.

However, no material was supplied and no work was executed and almost the entire amount was immediately routed back to the entities owned by Raj Singh and Sons HUF and his brother's son, said the ED, adding that the money was further siphoned off through multiple layers in a complex web of group entities.

Last year in July, ED had conducted searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) at seven different premises. These searches were conducted at the office premises of M/s Aman Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. (AHPL) and other companies of the Ambience Group and the residential premises of its Directors Raj Singh Gehlot, Dayanand Singh, Sh. Mohan Singh Gehlot and their associates.

During the course of the search, Indian currency amounting to Rs.16 lakh and foreign currency equivalent to around Rs. 24 lakh [16,120 Euros; 5,115 Pounds; and 6,302 US$] was seized from the residence of Raj Singh Gehlot. Several incriminating documents and digital evidences were also seized during the search.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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