The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth ₹452 crore of a British national in connection with the IL&FS money-laundering case.
The assets — attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) — belong to AS Coal Pte Singapore, a Singapore-based shell company owned by British national Jaimin Vyas, in connivance with officials of IL&FS and SEPCO III, a Chinese EPC contractor. They are in the form of 8.86 per cent shares of IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Limited (ITPCL), which is presently worth ₹452 crore.
The ED initiated an investigation under PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing against IRL and ITNL (group companies of IL&FS), its officials, and others. Further, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) conducted an investigation and filed a criminal complaint against IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) and its officials, invoking section 447 of the Company’s Act, 2013.
Investigation under the PMLA revealed that Vyas devised a well-planned conspiracy to defraud IL&FS and Indian banks in connivance with an official from IL&FS and SEPCO III. The company’s right to select the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction)contractor was illegally delegated to Vyas, violating the terms and conditions of the share purchase agreement.
Payments upon payments
Vyas thereafter nominated SEPCO as the EPC contractor and got a kickback in the guise of fees for consultancy services. The same money was routed as an equity investment in ITPCL. Subsequently, ITPCL paid SEPCO III by inflating the value of the contract. Additional payments were also made in the guise of early completion of the project.
Further, investigations also revealed that Vyas received illegal gratification from Noble Coal in lieu of awarding a coal supply contract (to ITPCL) at an inflated rate.
Earlier, ED had attached movable and immovable properties of the Committee of Directors of IFIN totalling ₹126 crore, and movable and immovable properties of two defaulter loanees of IFIN (SIVA Group and ABG Group) totalling ₹1,400 crore. Arun Kumar Saha, one of the former members of the Committee of Directors of IFIN, and Karunakaran Ramchand, former MD of ITNL, were arrested and prosecution complaint filed under PMLA.