DHFL scam: CBI seizes ₹34 crore worth of paintings by Tyeb Mehta, Manjit Bawa during searches

Paintings by Tyeb Mehta and Manjit Bawa which were recovered by CBI, on July 8, 2022.

Paintings by Tyeb Mehta and Manjit Bawa which were recovered by CBI, on July 8, 2022. | Photo Credit: CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday seized artworks estimated to be worth about ₹40 crore during searches conducted over the ₹.34,615-crore bank fraud case against Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), its promoters and others.

According to the agency, the searches were carried out on the premises of Rebecca Dewan and Ajay Ramesh Nawandar in Mumbai and Dewan Villa, Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. “Ajay is said to be an aide of Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim’s associate Chhota Shakeel,” said an agency official.

The CBI alleged that the company promoters had diverted the funds and made investments in various entities. They had also acquired expensive paintings and sculptures worth about ₹55 crore.

The agency registered the biggest ever bank fraud case last month alleging that a consortium of 17 banks was cheated by the accused.

DHFL’s then chairman-cum-managing director Kapil Wadhawan, promoter director Dheeraj Wadhawan, Sudhakar Shetty of Sahana Group, Amaryllis Realtors, Gulmarg Realtors, Skylark Buildcon, Darshan Developers, Sigtia Constructions, Creatoz Builders, Township Developers, Shishir Reality and Sunblink Real Estate have been named in the First Information Report (FIR).

As alleged, a consortium of 29 lenders formed in July 2010, had initially extended loans to the company. In July 2020, there were 17 consortium members and the amount of credit facilities was about ₹42,871.42 crore. The banks had also subscribed to the DHFL’s non-convertible debentures in 2016-18.

The company allegedly defaulted on its debt payment obligations from May 2019 onwards.

After proceedings were launched under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, the lenders were able to recover ₹5,977.93 crore and fresh non-convertible debentures of ₹7,186.74 crore.

Earlier, the auditors had found that 66 entities, which were inter-connected and involved individuals linked to DHFL promoter entities, had been given loans and advances of more than ₹29,100 crore, against which ₹29,949.62 crore remained outstanding towards the company.

Several of these entities were allegedly controlled by the promoters and had common addresses, e-mails, shareholders, directors or partners, while 16 had invested over ₹100 crore in the shares/debentures of DHFL promoter entities.

The FIR alleged that about ₹24,595 crore was also disbursed as loans or advances to 65 entities of which ₹11,909 crore was outstanding as on March 31, 2019.

Besides, ₹14,000 crore was given as project finance, but was shown as retail loans in the DHFL books. 

The forensic audit also detected diversion and round-tripping of funds, the FIR said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2022 11:44:24 am |