The Economic Times has a new story about the investigation into financial fraud involving the Singh brothers (Malvinder and Shivinder), Sunil Godhwani, Gurinder Singh Dhillon (guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas), and others.
I've boldfaced some passages for emphasis. Basically the story shows that authorities in India are still engaged in finding out in whose hands the illegal money transfers ended up, and where the money is now. So the financial fraud saga continues...
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is in the process of approaching foreign jurisdictions, to get details of more people and entities that may have involved in laundering money linked to the alleged Religare fraud.
In its charge sheet that accused former Religare promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh of money laundering, the agency said it is in the “process of issuing letters rogatory (LRs) to foreign jurisdictions”.
The agency also told a local court that of the total Rs 2,036.69 crore of estimated proceeds of crime, investigation over Rs 300 crores has been completed. “Investigation in respect of identification of remaining proceeds of crime and accused that are involved in money laundering is in progress,” it said in the charge sheet, which ET has seen.
The matter came up for resumed hearing on Wednesday when copies of the charge sheet were supplied to the accused.
On account of the ongoing legal battle between Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, a copy of the charge sheet could not be supplied to RHC Holding, a company privately owned by the brothers which is also an accused in the charge sheet. This is because there was no legal representative to appear for RHC Holding.
Special public prosecutor for the ED, Nitesh Rana, told the court that the brothers, along with co-accused Sunil Godhwani and others, are “involved in process of acquisition, layering, possession, concealment, use and projection of proceeds of crime generated out of criminal activities”.
Singh brothers and Godhwani had denied any wrongdoing.
Elaborating on the alleged role of the two brothers, the charge sheet said, “Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh incorporated and used multiple conduit companies for the purpose of siphoning off public funds from Religare Finvest Limited (RFL) by way of sanctioning and disbursal of loans under corporate loan book (CLB)”.
It said the conduit companies were associated with the Singh brothers. This is “clearly established on the basis that the directors of the said companies have accepted that they were relatives or associates of the promoters (Singh brothers). And that properties owned by the conduit companies were being utilised for the benefit of the promoters as also the fact that some of these companies were purchased by the promoters in 2017-18,” the charge sheet said.
It alleged that the funds “siphoned off” by the brothers and Godhwani through “sanctioning, evergreening, layering of CLB loans were ultimately utilised for repaying existing liabilities” of the company of Singh brothers “or the acquisition of properties for the benefit of Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh”.
The agency said it may file a supplementary charge sheet if its investigation in India as well as abroad ascertains involvement of more individuals involved in laundering and parking of proceeds of crime.
Underlining the role of RHC Holding, the agency said the company acquired Rs 150 crore of proceeds of crime and “utilised the said amount in repayment of its existing liability towards RFL by projecting it as untainted”. It added: “RHC group entities have not only been used as conduit companies but in some cases are the ultimate beneficiary of the proceeds of crime.”
Elaborating on the alleged modus operandi, the agency said proceeds of crime “through a complex maze of interconnected transactions” have been layered and “integrated in the main stream economy for evergreening of old loans”. The proceeds were also used for other purposes and for the acquisition of property, it claimed.
ET was the first to report on January 22 that the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police, in its separate charge sheet, had alleged that the Singh brothers had “diverted public money from group entity Religare Finvest to shell companies and used it to square off their personal liabilities”.
Executives at Religare Finvest, the group’s lending arm, had approved unsecured loans worth hundreds of crores to the shell companies within two hours of getting the proposals, even when these companies themselves had not sought the loans, the EOW said. The Singh brothers had joined the board of Religare Finvest in 2016 with the intention of diverting money to these 19 shell companies, the EOW alleged.