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PMC Bank scam: RBI, others move closer to selling HDIL land to return depositor money

The Reserve Bank of India, Enforcement Directorate, the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police and administrators of PMC Bank have formed a coordination team to expedite action in the PMC Bank case.

November 18, 2019 / 09:10 PM IST

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The Reserve Bank of India, Enforcement Directorate, the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police and administrators of PMC Bank have formed a coordination team to expedite action in the PMC Bank case.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve and PMC Bank Administrator JB Bhoria today met at the RBI headquarters to discuss next steps in the case.

The PMC Bank case came to light after it emerged that realtor HDIL owed the bank Rs 4,355 crore, and the RBI restricted withdrawals from the bank to prevent a run on it.

HDIL took loans from PMC Bank well in excess of regulatory limits, and actions since the scam broke out have uncovered instances of money laundering, siphoning and fraud.

With a view to returning money to depositors, the RBI is now exploring sale of HDIL’s assets, which were seized by the ED, a source told Moneycontrol.

After seeking court approval, the RBI will direct the PMC Bank administrator to begin the process of sale of assets under the SARFAESI Act.

The ED has seized properties worth Rs 3,830 crore, which includes vast parcels of land in Vasai and Palghar, besides a luxury bungalow in Alibaug and a string of luxury cars.

The EOW, too, has seized HDIL assets worth hundreds of crores. The total value of the assets seized may exceed the amount of fraud, the source quoted above said.

The RBI has requested the ED and the EOW to defreeze the properties, to allow the auction process to begin.

“The EOW has already submitted its NOC in court to dispose HDIL’s assets,” a source said. Another source added that ED also does not have any problem with the sale process. “But it will take a legal view on how to defreeze the assets as they were seized under the PMLA Act,” the source said.

A third person, who closely tracks developments in the case, said that liquidation of assets will take time. “The administrator will need to find a buyer for properties.”

Moneycontrol has also learned from sources that an Ahmedabad-based real estate company is interested in bidding for HDIL’s assets.

In a separate development, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya called upon Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari to seek his help in expediting recovery in the PMC Bank case. “I also met the RBI Governor who assured me that action was being taken promptly.”
Tarun Sharma
first published: Nov 18, 2019 06:00 pm