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Yes Bank crisis: ED books former chairman Rana Kapoor in fresh money laundering case

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a fresh money laundering case against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and his wife for allegedly obtaining Rs 307 crore bribe from a realty firm routed through the purchase of a bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi at half the market price, officials said on Tuesday.

The agency alleged that the bribe was paid to the Kapoors for facilitating around Rs 1,900 crore loans from Yes Bank to the realty firm and delaying recovery.

An Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), which is equivalent of a police FIR, has been filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of an FIR filed by the CBI on the matter recently, they said.

Kapoor is already facing an ED criminal case for receiving alleged kickbacks, through companies purportedly controlled by his family, for going slow on bad loans extended by his bank to some big corporates. This will be the second complaint against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The officials said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has gathered a number of financial documents related to the ownership, sale and mortgaging of the costly bungalow located at 40, Amrita Shergill Marg in the Lutyens’ zone of the national capital.

The agency took up the money laundering probe against Kapoor and others after the Reserve Bank imposed a moratorium on the crisis-ridden Yes Bank earlier this month, restricting withdrawals to Rs 50,000 per depositor.

The CBI had last week filed the FIR against Kapoor and his wife Bindu for allegedly obtaining Rs 307 crore bribe through the purchase of this bungalow from a realty firm at half the market price and facilitating around Rs 1,900 crore bank loans to it in return.

CBI suspects that the discounted transaction for the 1.2 acre-bungalow on Amrita Shergill Marg was a gratification to Kapoor through the company Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd in return for non-realisation of over Rs 1,900 crore in loans from Yes Bank to Gautam Thapar-promoted Avantha Realty and group companies, they said.

Kapoor’s wife Bindu is one of the two directors of Bliss Abode Pvt Ltd. The CBI also carried out searches at the residence and office of Kapoor, his wife in Mumbai, Bliss Abode, offices of Avantha Realty and others in Delhi and NCR.

It was alleged that Kapoor bought the bungalow at Rs 378 crore, paying through Bliss Abode and the property was immediately mortgaged to Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited for a loan of Rs 685 crore — which was Rs 307 less than the market price.

The banker, Rana Kapoor, was arrested by the ED on March 8 and he is at present in the agency’s custody till 20th of this month. It has also summoned Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar this week in Mumbai for questioning in this instance.