The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable assets totaling to Rs 122.15 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 in the loan fraud case against Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL). The assets belong to the company and two of its former promoters, T Venkatram Reddy and T Vinayakravi Reddy, and that of an alleged benami company floated by them, the ED said.
"The immovable assets consist of 14 properties located in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Chennai, Bangalore etc. This is the second attachment in this case. After this attachment, in addition to the earlier attachment, the total amount of assets attached so far comes to Rs 264.56 crore," the ED said in a press release.
It added that these attached assets were not covered under the insolvency proceedings of the company, presently being overseen by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The NCLT has approved a resolution plan for oRs 400 crore.
"Investigation conducted under PMLA revealed that the three promoters of DCHL, namely PK Iyer, T Venkatram Reddy and T Vinayakravi Reddy, hatched a well-planned conspiracy and manipulated the balance sheets of the company, inflating the profits-advertisement revenue and grossly under-stated the financial liabilities of the company, to paint a rosy picture for years to cheat the banks and its shareholders," the ED press release stated.
"Balance sheets of the company were fudged and loans taken from one bank were hidden from other financial institutions. Over the years, DCHL availed credit facilities to the tune of more than Rs 15,000 crore. Money trail investigation revealed that most of the loans were cyclically rotated into group companies and were diverted to pay back older loans," it added.
The ED also said that loans taken for working capital requirements and for business needs of DCHL were diverted to extravagant projects and without the consent of the banks and were ultimately shown as losses.
"Substantial amounts out of the loans were diverted into subsidiaries which have not done any legitimate business and also into the proprietary concerns of the two ex-promoters without any proper accounting," the ED said.
Further investigation in this case is under progress, it added.