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ED conducts raids in Delhi, Mumbai, and Nagpur in Rs 20,000 crore bank fraud case

The investigation was triggered by a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against a subsidiary of Amtek—ACIL Limited—for purportedly orchestrating a bank fraud of over Rs 20,000 crore involving several listed companies.

ED conducts raids in Delhi, Mumbai, and Nagpur in Rs 20,000 crore bank fraud case AJR
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First Published Jun 20, 2024, 3:44 PM IST

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday (June 20) launched extensive searches across 35 locations in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Nagpur as part of a high-profile money laundering investigation linked to an alleged bank loan fraud exceeding Rs 20,000 crore.

The targeted raids were aimed at the Amtek Group and its key figures, including directors Arvind Dham, Gautam Malhotra, and others. The operations encompassed both business and residential premises spread across Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Mumbai, and Nagpur, commencing early in the day.

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The investigation was triggered by a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against a subsidiary of Amtek—ACIL Limited—for purportedly orchestrating a bank fraud of over Rs 20,000 crore involving several listed companies.

These companies were eventually taken over through National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings at minimal prices, resulting in negligible recovery for the consortium of banks involved, sources familiar with the matter informed a news agency.

Sources indicated that the Supreme Court had also directed the ED to probe the matter, highlighting the severity of the alleged financial misconduct.

According to ED officials, the fraudulent activities have led to an estimated loss ranging from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore to the national treasury. The agency suspects that funds obtained through fraudulent means were illicitly diverted into real estate ventures, foreign investments, and other new projects.

Reports suggest that the Amtek Group manipulated records, including inflating sales, capital assets, debtors, and profits, to secure additional loans and avoid classification as non-performing assets (NPAs).

Further complicating the investigation, it is alleged that the group artificially inflated the shares of listed companies and falsified financial statements to deceive lenders into granting substantial loans, often colluding with auditors and other professionals in the process.

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The ED's scrutiny has unearthed transactions where assets worth significant amounts were purportedly transferred to shell companies to obfuscate their origins and ownership. Additionally, the agency claims that substantial overseas assets were established, with funds allegedly concealed through the use of benami directors and shareholders under new identities.

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