ED said that Letter of Credit (LC) facility was obtained by accused Mannoj Kumar Jain and this was "misused". (Photo Credit: News Nation Photo)
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 124 immovable properties worth more than Rs 175 crore of a West Bengal-based company in connection with a money laundering probe linked to an alleged bank fraud case, the agency said on Monday. It said a provisional order for attachment of the assets of Prakash Vanijya Private Limited has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), its director Mannoj Kumar Jain and others for allegedly cheating the Central Bank of India of Rs 234 crore loan amount.
Of the 124 properties attached by the ED, 11 are in Chhattisgarh, 10 in West Bengal's capital Kolkata and three in Jalpaiguri. The total value of the properties is Rs 175.29 crore, the ED said in a statement. The federal agency said it launched a PMLA probe against the company and its officials after going through a CBI FIR and the properties were traced after "unfolding layered transactions".
Probe found, the ED said, that Letter of Credit (LC) facility was obtained by accused Mannoj Kumar Jain and this was "misused" as LCs were issued without any underlying transactions by using fictitious and shell companies and without any real business or trade. "The LCs so opened were discounted by Jain through fictitious beneficiary companies and funds were received back by him by round-tripping through his shell companies," it alleged.
"These released funds from bank were used for personal purpose and for settling other liabilities through kite flying operations," it said. The agency added that the accused, after availing credit facilities from bank, started acquiring immovable properties. "The purchase price of these properties were highly undervalued and balance amount were paid in cash.
These cash amounts were illegally generated out of defrauded amount from the banks," it said. Some of these properties were then offered as "collateral securities" to bank for enhancing the credit limit, it said. Probe in the case is ongoing, the ED said.