The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on October 15 attached assets worth Rs 1,317 crore of private equity fund IREO, and its Managing Director Lalit Goyal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had filed its first charge sheet against the real estate group’s vice chairman and MD Lalit Goyal and others in a money laundering case related to an alleged multi-crore real estate scam in January this year. A special PMLA court in Panchkula, Haryana, had taken cognisance of the charge sheet.
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Goyal was about to board a Vistara flight from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport to London last November when he was intercepted at the immigration desk on a notice issued by the central probing agency.
Lalit Goyal and others have been accused of perpetrating a real estate fraud. According to the ED: “Over a thousand homebuyers and investors of IREO Projects like IREO Fiveriver, The Corridors, IREO City, Gurgaon Hills in Haryana, and IREO Waterfront Township in Punjab, among others, had made advance payments but are yet to receive their booked flats/plots despite lapse of more than four to five years.”
It added: “The IREO Group of companies could not complete its projects due to diversion and siphoning of funds… Customer receipts worth Rs 1,225 crore have been diverted outside India in the form of redemption, purchase, transfer and buy-back of shares, FCDs or fully convertible debentures etc., violating the country’s FDI policy and other laws.”
The probing agency further said: “The modus operandi adopted by the group includes routing of funds to India from various entities based in tax havens like British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, recording of fictitious expenses in the books of account, writing off the project in progress, interest-free loans and advances to sister concerns and round-tripping of funds through shell companies and creation of assets within and outside India.”