The properties seized by ED include some 'benami' immovable assets that Ullas Prabhakar Khaire and his wife Raksha of Stock Guru had allegedly purchased on fake identities
Initiating its first action in the multi-crore Stock Guru scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued attachment orders on properties worth Rs83 crore of main accused Ullas Prabhakar Khaire and his wife Raksha under anti-money laundering laws.
The seized properties, spread in various parts of the country like Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Nagpur in Maharashtra, Hyderabad and other cities in Andhra Pradesh and few places in Haryana, include some 'benami' immovable assets that the couple had allegedly purchased on fake identities.
The agency will soon issue prohibitory orders on these assets, including cash, jewellery and bank accounts, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED took the latest action after it recorded the statement of the duo, lodged in Tihar jail here in judicial custody, sometime back and went through the probe reports of other agencies in this regard.
The agency's action to attach these properties under PMLA is aimed at depriving the accused of the benefits of these assets which are alleged to have been created through the "proceeds of crime" and duping investors of their hard earned money.
The sources said apart from the latest attachment orders, some more properties would soon be frozen under the same laws.
The agency had registered a money laundering case against Ullas Prabhakar alias Lokeshwar Dev and his wife Raksha alias Priyanka Saraswat earlier this year after they were caught by Delhi Police.
Acting in the same case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), had arrested Yogendra Mittal, an officer from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) for allegedly receiving bribes from Khaire after raids were conducted by the I-T department against him some years back.
The alleged perpetrators of Stock Guru scam—Ulhas Khaire and his wife Raksha—were arrested by Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in November 2012, nearly 22 months after dubious searches carried out by the Income Tax officer.
Khaire and Raksha were arrested for allegedly duping around two lakh investors from seven states of nearly Rs493 crore by promising them high returns on their investment through their firm Stock Guru dealing in shares.
The couple had floated the firm in 2010 and allegedly lured people to invest in it promising highly lucrative returns of 20% per month followed by a subsequent refund of the principal amount in the seventh month, through source based investments in the share market.
In January 2013, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) barred seven persons and and one company from the markets for ten years for their involvement in the Stock Guru fraud.
The order follows a SEBI probe into complaints received by it regarding Khaire alias Lokeshwar Dev and his wife Raksha alias Priyanka Dev, both of whom used several aliases, fraudulently raising more than Rs1,500 crore through sale of preference shares of a company named SGI Research & Analysis.
Names used by them included Ulhas Prabhakar Khaire and Raksha J Urs, Siddharth Jay and Maya Siddharth Marathe, Dr Raj and Priya Zaveri, Dr Rakesh Kumar and Prachi Maheshwari.
A SEBI probe into the case found that the fraudsters had tricked the investors into putting in their money with a promise of 18% dividend, although the real assured dividend was a minuscule 0.12%.
Besides, the money might have mostly been collected in cash to avoid any regulatory glare, as SGI’s bank account had entries for a total amount of just about Rs44 lakh towards subscription of its shares by 162 persons.
According to NPAsource.com, Maharashtra, largely due to Mumbai, tops both the categories of commercial and residential NPA properties for sale
Commercial and residential properties of non-performing assets (NPAs) with banks and financial institutions worth an estimated Rs7,700 crore are up for sale across the country. According to NPAsource.com, there are around 2,200 units in the commercial category and nearly 11,000 units in the residential segment.
“As NPAs in the corporate sector continue to grow in the coming months, there will be more commercial and residential properties which will be put under the auction block by banks and financial institutions to recover their dues. A slowdown in the real estate markets across the country has further added to the woes of the lenders who will not be able to generate higher returns from the sale of mortgaged properties in the residential and commercial spaces. A positive turnaround in the realty market as well as the Indian economy may take place around May 2014 if a stable government is formed at the Centre,” said DK Jain, chairman and managing director of Atishya Technologies Ltd, which owns NPAsource.com portal.
According to NPAsource.com, Maharashtra, largely due to Mumbai, tops both the commercial and residential categories with Rs842 crore and Rs838 crore, respectively. Delhi comes next with Rs686 crore worth of NPA commercial and Rs500 crore worth of NPA residential properties.
Andhra Pradesh comes at number three in the residential properties ranking with Rs 497 crore worth of space up for sale under NPA properties to be auctioned by banks and financial institutions. Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the next three states with highest value of commercial and residential NPA properties.
NPAsource.com said, the single largest commercial property in value terms is an office property at New Delhi valued at Rs200 crore at the base price. In the residential category, the single largest NPA property happens to a farm house at New Delhi with a base value of Rs40 crore. Mumbai has two NPA commercial properties with a base price value of Rs26.5 crore and Rs24.6 crore, it added.
As on 31 March 2013, net NPAs of 40 listed banks were Rs93,109 crore, which rose to Rs1.29 lakh crore as on 30 September 2013.
NPAsource.com has total NPA properties worth around Rs27,500 crore registered on its portal spread across 27,626 units. Commercial NPA properties have a 15% share in value term while residential properties have a 13% share. The biggest chunk of NPA properties fall under the industrial land and building category with a 65% plus share in value terms.
While extending the deadline to 5am, the Bombay High Court said the hotels will have to give an undertaking that security inside the premises would be their responsibility
Dubbing Mumbai police’s directive of 1.30am deadline for eateries, hotels and restaurants in the metropolis on the New Year eve as illogical, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday extended the revelry time to 5am.
Justice Gautam Patel was hearing a petition filed by Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association (AHAR) challenging the police directive setting 1.30am as the cut-off citing concerns of law and order, security and women safety.
Public prosecutor DA Nalavade pointed out to the Court, recent reports regarding Indian Mujahideen terrorist Yasin Bhatkal’s statement on the terror outfit planning nuclear bomb attacks in the country. The prosecutor also informed the Court about seven alleged terrorists absconding from a jail in Madhya Pradesh, while arguing in support of the deadline.
The court, however, dismissed these reasons and said, “Threat perception to the city will be there all the time. Not just on 31st December.”
The court also refused to accept the women safety concern and said, “The Shakti Mills gang rape incident did not happen on 31st December. It happened on a normal day. If proper precautions are taken, such incidents would not occur.”
Petitioner’s counsel Veena Thadani pointed out that the State Home department in its circular dated 19th December had permitted hotels to continue the party till 5am.
“If the Home department under which the police come has no problem with the celebrations going on till 5am then why is the police setting deadline of 1.30am. This is without logic,” Justice Patel said.
The court while extending the deadline to 5am said the hotels will have to give an undertaking that security inside the premises would be their responsibility. The court has also allowed hotels to have indoor music on till 5am.