The ED said on Tuesday that it has attached assets, including three luxury apartments, worth Rs 92 crore of a Kolkata-based firm in connection with its probe into the alleged bank fraud and money laundering by the company. The agency said a provisional order for attachment of the properties of the company, SPS Steel Rolling Mills Ltd, has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The company was known for producing 'Elegant Steel' brand and its control was taken over by another Kolkata-based firm in April after the alleged bank default was detected some years ago. "The attached assets consist of shares of an entity owning a 5-star hotel, three luxurious apartments, office building and 0.33 acres of land," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement.
It filed a criminal case in the alleged bank fraud based on a CBI FIR against the company, the beneficial owner of the company, Bipin Kumar Vohra, and others for "defrauding a consortium of eight banks led by the Allahabad Bank in Kolkata for an amount of around Rs 550 crore". Investigation revealed that the bank loan amount was "fraudulently siphoned" through formation of shell companies.
"The accused also diverted the loan amount in their various other existing business activities like running five-star hotels, security agencies and also for re-payment of earlier debts," the ED said. The provisionally attached assets were found to be the "proceeds of crime" and hence, were attached, it added.
Following continuous defaults, the SPS Steel Rolling Mills was referred to the NCLT about 22 months ago.
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