The Enforcement Directorate (ED) last week searched 22 locations in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai related to a builder named Lalit Tekchandani, in connection with a money laundering case.
This action was taken under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, due to allegations against him of cheating prospective flat buyers. The search resulted in the seizure and freezing of cash, bank balances, and fixed deposits worth over Rs 30 crore.
The ED began investigating based on two FIRs that alleged that Supreme Construction & Developer Pvt Ltd, represented by Tekchandani and others, collected large sums of money from prospective home buyers for a housing project in Taloja, Navi Mumbai.
The ED’s investigation found that Supreme Construction & Developer Pvt Ltd collected over Rs 400 crore from more than 1,700 home buyers for the Taloja housing project.
Delays in the project left these buyers without flats or refunds. According to the probe, the funds received from home buyers were misappropriated by the builder for personal gain and to acquire assets in various names, including family members.
During the searches conducted by the ED, cash amounting to Rs 27.5 lakh and documents related to the acquisition of properties under various names, including family members of Tekchandani, were seized. Digital devices and other documentary evidence were also confiscated. Details of fixed deposits totalling Rs 29.73 crore were discovered, and the accounts held in various banks were frozen.