The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a helicopter and over 100 land parcels in Mumbai worth a total of Rs 81 crore in connection with a money-laundering probe against realty firm Unitech Group, the agency said on Wednesday. It said a provisional order for attachment of these properties owned by the Shivalik Group and its associates has been issued under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The total value of the helicopter, owned by King Rotors Air Charters Pvt Limited, and the 101 land parcels located in Mumbai’s Santa Cruz area is Rs 81.10 crore, the ED said in a statement. The action has been taken “in relation to the investigation being conducted against Unitech Group”, the probe agency said.
While the plots of land are owned by the Shivalik Group, the company that owns the chopper is its associate firm, it said. The probe has “revealed that Unitech Group had diverted proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 574 crore to Shivalik Group and, in turn, the entities of Shivalik Group purchased the said land parcels and helicopter from these proceeds of crime,” the ED alleged.
The Enforcement Directorate, early this year, filed a criminal case under various sections of the PMLA against the Unitech Group and its promoters over allegations that the owners — Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra — illegally diverted over Rs 2,000 crore to Cyprus and Cayman Island. The case was booked after the ED studied some FIRs filed by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against these promoters and the company, including an instance where they allegedly failed to complete a housing project on time in Gurgaon. On March 4, the ED also carried out raids at 35 locations of the Shivalik Group, Trikar Group, Unitech Group and Carnoustie Group in Mumbai and at the national capital region after the registration of the case.
“After analysis of the seized records followed by the disclosures of various persons, the above diversion of proceeds of crime has been unearthed,” it alleged. The total attachment in this case now stands at Rs 431 crore as two similar orders were earlier issued that froze assets worth Rs 349.82 crore.