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Published on 14/08/2020 8:55:41 AM | Source: IANS

Kapil Wadhawan had set up company in UAE, invested in three-acre Australian warehouse

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The Enforcement Directorate's investigation into the Yes Bank-Rana Kapoor money-laundering probe has found that Kapil Wadhawan, CMD of the Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL), started his realty business in 2007-08, pursued it in United Arab Emirates (UAE) by forming Wadhawan International Investments Ltd (WIIL), and the company has some assets in Australia worth Rs 1,000 crore.

The revelations figure in the ED's supplementary charge sheet filed in a PMLA court in Mumbai on July 13, naming 11 other accused in the matter, official sources said.

The 100-page charge sheet has been filed against 19 persons or entities, including eight named in the previous charge sheet, filed before the special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Among the accused are Wadhawan, his brother and DHFL's Non-Executive Director Dhiraj Wadhawan, Yes Bank's former MD and CEO Rana Kapoor, his wife Bindu, their daughters Radha, Rekha and Roshni, and chartered accountant Dhulresh Jain.

The entities named are the Kapoors' family concern, DHFL, Yes Capital Pvt Ltd, DOIT Urban Ventures Pvt Ltd, Rab Ventures, Kyta Advisors Ltd, RKW Developers, Morgan Credit Pvt Ltd, Belief Realty, Golden Western Ltd, Samapti Trading Pvt Ltd and Valencia Developers.

The ED charge sheet read: "Kapil Wadhawan stated that in or around 2007-08, they pursued their realty business in UAE's Dubai in partnership with a local Emirates family, namely Saeed Al Raqbani, and that accordingly, they incorporated WIIL at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as holding company for the ownership of realty projects in Dubai."

"Apart from this, they had some business interest in Australia also. That in Australia, they have got assets/projects held by WIIL... in Australia, WIIL had invested in a prime property (land consisting of warehouse) in central Melbourne, and the present value of the Australian property stands at Rs 1,000 crore approximately."

Presently, this property has been given out on rent.

The ED said that when asked about the shareholding pattern of WIIL, Kapil Wadhawan said that some of the Wadhawan group companies in India had extended loans to it and later, these loans were converted into equity, and thus, these companies became shareholders in WIIL.

It also said some of the Wadhawan Group's Investment companies, namely Wadhawan Holdings Ltd (WHL), Aashiana Realtors Pvt Ltd (Aashiana), Resources Realty Pvt Ltd, and Yardsticks Developers Pvt Ltd, had made overseas investments of approximately Rs 1,00 crore in WIIL, which was subsequently invested in UAE for development of realty projects and in Melbourne for purchase of land, measuring approximately three acres.

The ED said that Dheeraj Wadhawan also informed it that WIIL had invested in two countries - the UAE and Australia - and that the company invested in 12,500 square metre land consisting of a warehouse in Australia.

He also stated that the Australian property on rent is servicing a loan of (Australian) $20 million (Rs 100 crore) taken on the said property.

Dheeraj Wadhawan also said that some of their group companies had funded WIIL and that these funds were collected by their companies by way of borrowing from market and financial institutions, disposal of investments and proceeds received from the UAE joint venture.

The ED, in its charge sheet, also said that the Wadhawans also confirmed they owned two residential properties in New York City, through Wealth Core International Ltd.

In 2018, DHFL allegedly gave another Rs 300 crore loan to Rana Kapoor's family-controlled firm -- DOIT Enterprises (India) Pvt. Ltd, which is now called DOIT Urban Ventures India Pvt Ltd, without the required nod from its own finance committee.

Kapoor's wife was earlier a Director in DOIT, and control was later transferred to the couple's three daughters, with each owning 33 per cent.

DFHL had given DOIT a Rs 300 crore loan in March 2017, and in April 2018, the loan amount was increased to Rs 600 crore on the basis of a letter from Radha Kapoor, who also sought replacement of the old security and guarantor with new ones, the ED said.

The ED also stated that Kapil Wadhawan, in his statement to the financial probe agency on May 18 this year, claimed that he was responsible for managing overall operations of the company and for sanctioning of various credit facilities. He was empowered to sanction upto Rs 100 crore loans individually, upto Rs 200 crore with one senior officer and upto Rs 300 crore with the board's Finance Committee. The directors comprising the committee were both the Wadhawans and G.P. Kohli (Independent Director).

The ED also said that Bindu Kapoor, in her statement about her association with DOIT Urban Ventures India Pvt Ltd, told the agency that "she has no idea about it".

Asked about the application by her as Director of DOIT Urban Ventures India Pvt Ltd to sanction Rs 300 crore in March 2017, she said that she had never visited the office of DHFL and had signed the said loan documents, as per the directions of her husband, at her home at Samudra Mahal and without going into the contents.

The ED had registered a case of money laundering on March 7 this year based on the Central Bureau of Investigation FIR registered the same day against 12 people, including Kapoor, his wife and daughters, the Wadhawan brothers and five firms.

The Wadhawans were arrested by the CBI from Mahabaleshwar hill station in Maharashtra on April 26 and the ED also arrested them in May.

The ED on July 9 attached Rs 2,203 crore assets, comprising 344 bank accounts, investments and high-end vehicles in India, New York and Australia, of Kapoor and his family, the Wadhawans and others under the PMLA in the Rs 3,700 crore fraud case.