The Enforcement Directorate arrested Gautam Thapar, the Avantha Group’s promoter, in connection with an alleged money laundering case. According to a report by PTI, Thapar was arrested on August 3 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) following raids conducted by the ED in Mumbai and Delhi. According to the source, he is likely to appear in court on Wednesday, where the ED will seek custody of Thapar.
Thapar’s arrest arises from a matter that dates back to 2017, when he reportedly received a Rs 515 crore loan from Yes Bank. In 2019, this debt was defaulted on. Furthermore, between 2017 and 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a complaint against Avantha Realty Limited, Thapar, and others for allegedly defrauding the bank of Rs 466.51 crore.
In a previous case, the CBI said that Rana Kapoor turned a blind eye to Thapar’s enterprises defaulting on loans due to supposed kickbacks that Kapoor was receiving. There was a default of Rs 2,435 crore in this case. According to a Moneylife article, the State Bank of India (SBI) lent 12.8 percent and Yes Bank had an 11.75 percent exposure.
According to a report, the ED had already initiated an investigation into the events that led to the businessman’s detention for alleged fraud on the basis of a FIR filed by the CBI against Thapar and others for allegedly cheating Yes Bank. Thapar and high brass directors and promoters, as well as other unknown persons from private enterprises and bank authorities, were arrested by the CBI for the suspected Rs 446.51 crore fraud to Yes Bank.
Thapar was also said to have been designated as a “Red Flagged Account” on March 6, 2020, based on Early Warning Signals (EWS). According to the CBI’s FIR, the company and its holdings company, as well as the directors, promoters, and others, committed an act of breach of trust, alleged cheating, criminal conspiracy, and forgery for diversion/misappropriation of public funds between 2017 and 2019, according to the report. The loss of Rs 466.51 crore to Yes bank was allegedly caused by this alleged course of malpractice.
“The (CBI) FIR alleges that Rana Kapoor, then MD and CEO of Yes Bank Limited, obtained illegal gratification in the form of a property in a prime location in Delhi at much less than the realisable market value belonging to Avantha Reality Ltd for sanction of a loan to ARL and for extending concessions, relaxations and waivers in the already existing credit facilities provided to Avantha Group companies and for advancing new and additional loans to them by Yes Bank Ltd.” the ED said in a statement reported by PTI.
The ED is also apparently looking into the Avantha Realty company’s dealings with Rana Kapoor and his wife. The couple is supposedly already being investigated by the same agency under the PMLA.
Avantha Realty, Oyster Buildwell Private Limited, Raghubir Kumar Sharma, Rajendra Kumar Mangal, and Tapsi Mahajan, as well as unknown officials from Jhabua Power Investment Limited, Jhabua Power Limited, Avantha Holdings Limited, and Avantha Power and Infrastructure Limited, have been arraigned as part of the investigation.