New Delhi: Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has conducted search operations at multiple offices in West Bengal’s Kolkata, Telangana’s Hyderabad and Kerala’s Thrissur district under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), the agency said on Wednesday.
As per the agency statement, ED conducted searches on October 16, 2023, under PMLA, 2002 at the office premises of Bharat Road Network Limited (BRNL) in Kolkata and Guruvayoor Infrastructure Private Limited (GIPL) in Kolkata, KMC Constructions Ltd in Hyderabad and GIPL office in Thrissur in a case of embezzlement of funds of NHAI.
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ED initiated investigation on the basis of FIR registered by CBI under various sections of IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Guruvayoor Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. (GIPL) and others alleging that the company and it’s then Director Vikram Reddy entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of NHAI, Palakkad, in connection with execution of work related to two sections of National Highway 47, during the period from 2006 to 2016 and thereby cheated NHAI, Govt. of India, to the tune of about Rs 102.44 crore, the statement said.
ED investigation revealed that the accused company GIPL and sub-contractor KMC Constructions Limited, with officials of NHAI and the project Independent Engineer fraudulently obtained the completion certificate of the road project and started collecting toll from public.
The investigation has further revealed that without completing the construction of the bus bays, the accused company illegally generated revenue from letting out the advertisement space. Thereby the accused derived undue benefit of Rs 125.21 crore which is the value of the work not executed and proceeds of crime under PMLA, 2002.
During the searches, it was found that GIPL invested the toll collections into mutual funds without remitting the cost of work not done to NHAI. Hence freezing order was issued under Section 17(1-A) of PMLA, 2002, for a value Rs 125.21 crore against the bank balance and Fixed Deposits of Guruvayoor Infrastructure Private Limited in Kolkata.
Further, searches have led to seizure of incriminating documents from the office premises of KMC Constructions Limited which revealed that the company has sold its 51 per cent share in GIPL to BRNL without any proper valuation and without taking necessary approval from NHAI as per the contract terms.
Hence a freezing order was issued under the sections 17(1-A) of PMLA, 2002 against the bank balances of KMC Constructions Limited for a value of Rs 1.37 crore.
Further investigation in connection with the case is underway.