ED approaches Panchkula court to interrogate M3M directors in money laundering case, ET RealEstate

July 19, 2023

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved two applications before a special judge in Panchkula in Haryana seeking permission to interrogate three directors of realty firm M3M who are currently lodged in the Ambala Central Jail in a money laundering case.

The Gurgaon Zonal Office of the ED is investigating a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against these three directors and promoters – Roop Kumar Bansal, Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal – besides Lalit Goyal, the owner of another realty firm IREO Group, and others.

In its first application before the special judge, the ED has prayed for permission to examine one of the three directors – Roop Kumar Bansal – in a case related to allegedly offering bribes to a judge for favours.

In the second application, it has pleaded to interrogate the other two directors, Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, in a case of alleged cheating and defrauding their customers and investors against purchase of lands, plots, flats.

The ED has alleged that the investigation under PMLA revealed that the IREO Group of Companies, their directors and key managerial personnel were involved in the criminal activity of cheating and defrauding their customers and investors against purchase of lands, plots, flats, etc.

It has further alleged that the investigation has also revealed diversion of the funds of investors, fudging of books of accounts to siphon off buyers’ money.

According to the ED, they allegedly made false assurance of possessing necessary permissions to sell and develop colonies and money collected against booking were pocketed and misappropriated without investing in the proposed development.

“That the investigation in this matter further revealed that the IREO group has diverted funds of about Rs 404 crore through M3M group of companies in which…Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal among other person(s) were the Directors / the then Directors / promoters / key managerial persons,” the ED said.

It added, “That the transaction/diversion of Rs 404 crore was layered and routed through shell companies which were claimed to be independent companies but during investigation all of them were found to be linked/related companies of M3M group.”

The investigation conducted by ED has showed that the purported reason for the transaction was sale of development rights of land which was found to be valued at Rs 4 crore only but for which Rs 404 crore was received from 10 IREO Group Companies by five shell companies followed by four more shell companies, all of M3M Group.

“The same development rights were purchased by these five shell companies for Rs 10 crore from M/s Misty Meadows Pvt. Ltd., one of the M3M Group companies,” the ED said.

The agency has sought the court’s permission to examine Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal in this case.

The ED further alleged that during the investigation, it was discovered that these three directors in connivance with each other as well as others directly or indirectly bribed Sudhir Parmar, the then ED judge (Special Judge, CBI Court, Panchkula) to take undue benefit in the ongoing case against them before the court.

It has prayed to the court to allow it to interrogate Roop Kumar Bansal in the judge bribery case.

While Roop Kumar Bansal was arrested on June 8, 2023, the other two directors were arrested on June 14. They are currently in judicial custody.

“It is therefore prayed that the applicant who is an Investigating Officer in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 case may be permitted along with the assisting staff to interrogate and record the statement of the above said person in Central Jail, Ambala for a period of three days as early as possible,” the ED said in its application.

Recently, the M3M directors had challenged their arrest in the Supreme Court alleging that ED has got drastic powers and if the court does not rein them in, no one is safe in this country.

The matter was disposed of by the Supreme Court when the Bansal brothers submitted that they would be approaching the Punjab and Haryana High Court for anticipatory bail.

  • Published On Jul 18, 2023 at 07:00 PM IST

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