Construction firm under ED scanner collected ₹400 cr from homebuyers | Mumbai news

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) money laundering investigation into the city-based developer Lalit Tekchandani’s construction firm has revealed an alleged collection of approximately 400 crore for a Taloja housing project from over 1,700 prospective buyers. These homebuyers, facing delays in the project, were left without flats or refunds.

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Following recent searches, the ED has seized or frozen assets, including cash and, bank balances, and fixed deposits, amounting to over 30 crore belonging allegedly to the accused, Tekchandani and his firm, M/s Supreme Construction & Developer Pvt Ltd, and other linked individuals/ entities.

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An ED source said, “The investigation revealed that Supreme Construction & Developer Pvt Ltd collected over 400 crore from more than 1,700 homebuyers in a housing project in Taloja, Navi Mumbai, and delays in the project left these homebuyers in a lurch without a flat or refund.”

ED’s preliminary probe under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act also revealed that the funds received from the homebuyers were allegedly siphoned off by the builder for personal gains and the creation of assets in various names, including of family members, the ED source said.

Last week, on February 7, the ED conducted searches at 22 locations in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai at premises connected to the accused in the case that led to the seizure or freezing of cash and bank balances/fixed deposits amounting to more than 30 crore, including cash of 27.5 lakh and fixed deposit accounts in various banks with the face value of 29.73 crore, according to the agency.

Several purportedly incriminating documents relating to the alleged acquisition of huge properties in various names including a few family members of Tekchandani were recovered and seized by the ED. Digital devices and other documentary evidence were seized as well by the agency.

The ED initiated the investigation based on cases registered by the Taloja and Chembur police stations under various sections of the Indian Penal Code related to the alleged cheating of prospective flat buyers. Tekchandani, already arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), underwent over nine hours of questioning before his arrest. In January, the EOW conducted searches at his residential/official premises in Chembur and Bandra Kurla Complex.

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