LoC issued against DHFL promoter Dheeraj Wadhawan on ED request

The ED had carried out raids at eight locations including the DHFL headquarters in connection with loans extended to Iqbal Mirchi's Sunblink. The agency is now also looking at transactions involving other companies and some Bollywood celebrities.

Agencies
By Rashmi Rajput & Manish Yadav

Mumbai: A look out circular has been issued against Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoter of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd, based on a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing an alleged terror-financing case linked to late gangster Iqbal ‘Mirchi’ Memon, people in the know said.

The company, however, said there were no fresh circulars against the promoter. “Earlier this year, the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) has issued LoCs against the directors or promoters of certain corporate houses. Wadhawan was one of them, but there is no fresh LoC issued against him,” said a company source.


On Saturday, the ED had carried out raids at eight locations including the DHFL headquarters in connection with a Rs 2,186 crore allegedly given by the NBFC to Sunblink Real Estate, a company under probe for its dealing with Iqbal Mirchi.

The LoC is a precautionary measure used by the enforcement agencies to ensure a person under probe doesn’t flee the country.

Meanwhile, the ED has summoned former Bhushan Steel promoter Neeraj Singal to seek an explanation on some of his purported transactions with Iqbal Mirchi’s son Junaid Memon, widening the scope of its probe in the case.
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The agency, which so far has been probing the possible roles of two developers and Mumbai-based DHFL in the case, is now also looking at transactions involving other companies and some Bollywood celebrities, people with knowledge of the investigations said.

Among other deals, the purchase of a farmhouse by the Singals is under the scanner of the federal agency, they said. The ED suspects that the property, along Moulsari Avenue in the National Capital Region, was purchased with funds diverted from Bhushan Steel and that it could be linked to Junaid. “Details of certain payments made to Junaid have surfaced and he would be asked to explain the same,” said one of the people.

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office had filed a charge sheet against the former promoters of Bhushan Steel in June, alleging fund diversions of ?45,818 crore, causing ?20,879 crore of wrongful losses to banks and financial institutions and making wrongful gains of ?3,500 crore. Tata Steel acquired the company out of bankruptcy earlier this year and renamed it Tata Steel BSL.

BOLLYWOOD LINK
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The federal agency is also looking into an unsecured Rs 3.46 crore loan given by RKW Developers Pvt Ltd in 2011 to Essential Hospitality, in which Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra were directors. Rajneet Bindra, an agent who is accused of brokering a property deal involving Iqbal Mirchi, was a director of RKW Developers.

People in the know said the ED had stumbled upon the association of Bindra with several other prominent actors and their partners as well. “At this point in time we are studying the nature of the transactions; if need be they will be called in to explain their associations and the transactions,” said a person.
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As per the balance sheet of Essential Hospitality, it received the Rs 3.46 crore loan from RKW Developers in 2011. The same year Shetty had given a loan of Rs 9.5 lakh to Essential Hospitality. The couple exited the company in 2013 and submitted their resignation from its directorship on July 26 that year.

Kundra and Bindra are also allegedly linked in another company, Bastian Hospitality. In a resolution passed at a board meeting held on April 18, 2019, Raj Kundra was appointed as a director, stated a company document seen by ET.

Kundra denied any deals with Bindra. “I would like to put on record I am not aware of any past dealings of Mr Ranjit (Rajneet) Bindra,” he said in an emailed response to ET’s query.

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