The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached immovable and movable properties of Viceroy Hotels Ltd., Hyderabad worth Rs 315 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 in a bank fraud case. These properties are part of Sujana group of companies owned by former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP, YS Chowdary of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh.
In their statement to media, the ED said an investigation under PMLA was initiated on the basis of an FIR registered by CBI, Bangalore against Best & Crompton Engineering Pvt Ltd (BCEPL) and their officials for the criminal conspiracy between 2010-2013 to defraud Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank.
The total loss caused to the consortium of banks due to the fraud was to the tune of Rs 364 crore. BCEPL is also a part of Sujana group of companies.
During PMLA investigation, searches were carried out at various places at Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and New Delhi at the residential and business premises of key officials of BCEPL as well as other companies of Sujana Group.
During these searches, incriminating material including documents and electronic devices were seized.
In the business premises of Sujana Group at Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta Hyderabad, 124 rubber stamps of different companies/entities were seized, including the rubber stamps of BCEPL, their Letter of Credit beneficiary companies, sundry debtors and trade associates.
Investigations also revealed that several shell companies were floated and money was circulated among the companies using bogus GST invoices and part of the loan amount was diverted to one Mahal Hotels, which is also a shell company floated by the Sujana Group, the ED said.
After circuitous transactions, the amounts were finally paid to Viceroy Hotels in the guise of Business Transaction Agreement between Viceroy Hotels Ltd and Mahal Hotels Pvt Ltd.
According to ED, Viceroy Hotels admitted their liability towards Mahal Hotels at Rs 315 crore.