The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth over Rs 33 crore of the promoters of an Andhra Pradesh-based company, in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged bank loan fraud, the agency said on Wednesday.
As many as 27 immovable properties in the name of Nimmagadda Ramakrishna, Nimmagadda Venugopal, VVNK Viswanath and their family members have been provisionally attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the central probe agency said in a statement.
The attached assets, located in and around Hyderabad and Vijayawada, have a market value of Rs 33.39 crore, while their book value is Rs 11.05 crore, it said.
These individuals had promoted Venus Aqua Foods Limited that dealt in the business of pisciculture, it said.
The ED filed a PMLA case against the accused based on a FIR of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), alleging that the Nimmagadda Ramakrishna, the Managing Director, and other Directors of the company cheated the Union Bank of India's (erstwhile Andhra Bank) Gudivada branch (Krishna district) to the tune of Rs 36.97 crore.
"The company had availed Rs 19.44 crore fish tank loans from Andhra Bank by furnishing forged and fabricated documents including fake lease documents for 470 acres of fish farms," the ED alleged. "The loan funds were diverted and not repaid, causing a loss of Rs 36.97 crore," the agency claimed.
The probe found that the accused also availed fish tank loans in the name of 54 individuals that included themselves, their family members, friends, relatives, associates and their family members to the tune of Rs 22.64 crore, it said.
"These loans were taken on the pretext of pisciculture, but instead the money was siphoned off and diverted to the main accused (Ramakrishna) who used this money to introduce share capital in the aqua company that helped the company to borrow more," the ED said.
"Part of the loan funds were also used to acquire immovable properties in the names of Ramakrishna, other promoters of the aqua firm, their family members and associates to disguise their origin," it said.
The ED claimed that an amount of Rs 1.72 crore was diverted to the production of a Telugu film Aakasame Haddu, adding that all the loans have become NPA (non performing assets).
With IANS inputs