ED files charge sheet against Gautam Thapar in money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed a charge sheet against Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar for money laundering of Rs.500 crore by cheating banks. Noted industrialist Thapar (60) was arrested by the ED in August and is in judicial custody now. Thapar, promoter of many big companies like Crompton Greaves, Ballarpur Industries, Avantha ERGO Life Insurance, etc. is already facing three Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases for cheating many banking consortiums and also in the YES Bank frauds.
ED’s charge sheet was filed before Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal, who put up the matter for consideration on October 4. The agency is expected to file two more charge sheets against Thapar, following the CBI’s chargesheets. The Court has adjourned the bail application of the industrialist to October 7.
The case of money laundering was filed by the ED after taking cognizance of an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Thapar was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on August 3, after the agency carried out raids against him and his linked businesses in Delhi and Mumbai. The ED was probing an alleged transaction between his company Avantha Realty, Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor and his wife Bindhu, who are already being investigated under the PMLA by the agency. The case of money laundering was filed by the ED after taking cognizance of an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The FIR said that Kapoor, then MD and CEO of Yes Bank, obtained illegal gratification in the form of a property in a prime location in Delhi at much less than the realizable market value belonging to Avantha Reality Ltd for sanction of a loan to ARL, and extending concessions, relaxations, and waivers in the already existing credit facilities provided to Avantha Group firms and for advancing new and additional loans to them by Yes Bank Ltd.
The CBI had last year booked Kapoor and his wife Bindhu for allegedly obtaining a bribe of Rs.307 crore through the purchase of a bungalow in a tony Delhi area from a realty firm at half the market price and facilitating around Rs 1,900 crore bank loans to it in return. The CBI suspected that the discounted transaction for the 1.2 acre-bungalow on Amrita Shergill Marg in Central Delhi was a gratification to Kapoor through the company Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd in return for non-realization of over Rs.1,900 crore in loans from Yes Bank to Avantha Realty and group companies.
In June 2021 the CBI had booked Thapar and others in a fresh case of fraud of Rs.2,435 crore in the State Bank of India (SBI) and other banks to probe an alleged fraud case at the CG Power and Industrial Solutions.
[with PTI inputs]
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