NEW DELHI: The CBI on Wednesday arrested Mumbai businessman Ajay Ramesh Nawandar in connection with the Rs 34,615 crore bank fraud case involving Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), officials said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Nawandar’s premises last week and recovered a large collection of luxury watches worth Crores of Rupees including Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Cartier, Omega and Hublot Michael Kors, and two paintings worth Rs 33 crore, officials said.
They said the valuables belonged to former DHFL CMD Kapil Wadhawan and former company director Dheeraj Wadhawan who allegedly defrauded banks of Rs 34,615 crore, making it the biggest such case surveyed by the agency.
These were believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of the scam and kept at Nawandar’s premises to evade retrieval and seizure by law enforcement, officials said.
It emerged during the investigation that Nawandar was acting as a conspirator aiding and abetting the Dewans in hiding the proceeds of crime and was in the process of disposing of these items when he was arrested by the agency. they stated.
The CBI is focused on tracking the money and people who colluded with the Dewans to siphon off public money, officials said.
“During the investigation, it was discovered that the developers (DHFL) misappropriated the funds and made investments in various entities. It was also alleged that the developers had acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth of approximately Rs 55 crore (approximately) using the misappropriated funds,” the agency had said in a statement.
Following the registration of the case on June 20, a team of more than 50 CBI officials conducted searches at 12 premises in Mumbai belonging to the FIR-listed defendants, including Sudhakar Shetty of Amaryllis Realtors and eight others builders, June 22.
The agency conducted another round of searches on July 8 at the premises of Rebecca Dewan and Nawandar, from where it found a treasure trove of expensive paintings and sculptures worth Rs 40 crore, including two paintings by Tyeb Mehta and Manjit Bawa worth Rs 33 crore.
The CBI had acted on a complaint from Union Bank of India (UBI), the head of a 17-member consortium of lenders that provided credit facilities to DHFL of Rs 42,871 crore between 2010 and 2018 .
The bank alleged that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, in a criminal conspiracy with others, distorted and concealed facts, committed criminal breach of trust and misused public funds to deceive the consortium to the tune of Rs 34,615 crore in not not repaying loans as of May 2019. As of.
An audit of DHFL’s accounting books showed the company allegedly committed financial irregularities, embezzled funds, fabricated books and went back and forth to “create assets for Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan”, using public funds.