The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday launched its biggest money laundering action in the coal blocks allocation scam as it attached assets worth a whopping Rs. 186 crore of an accused firm based in Hyderabad.
The firm in question, Nava Bharat Power Projects Pvt. Ltd, has earlier been chargesheeted by CBI for allegedly misrepresenting facts and making “fraudulent” claims to “embellish” its applications to get coal blocks between 2006 and 2009.
This is the second attachment order by the central economic investigations agency after it attached assets valued at Rs. 24.50 crore of a Nagpur based firm in July under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the same probe.
The agency said it trailed and recorded financial transactions of the firm and its directors before attaching the said assets, including shares and land properties, as “proceeds of crime” of the alleged illegal allotment of coal blocks.
“The proceeds of crime totalling Rs. 186.11 crore were found to be re-invested by the Directors of Ms. Nava Bharat Power Projects Pvt Ltd namely P Trivikrama Prasad in the form of 73,99,99,994 shares of Ms Nava Bharat Energy India Ltd (Ms NBEIL) valued at Rs. 147,99,99,988 for which the attachment value is of Rs. 138.59 crore,” the attachment order issued by the Hyderabad zonal office of the agency said.
The agency, in the order, said it also has attached assets of another director of the firm Y Harish Chandra Prasad “in the form of 8.4 MW Wind Turbine Generators at Rajasthan in the name of Ms Malaxmi Windpower Hyderabad valued at Rs. 45.19 crore for which the attachment is valued at Rs. 36.32 crore.”
The ED, which is probing the case along with CBI, has based its case on the earlier filed complaint and charge sheet of CBI and an attachment order under PMLA laws is aimed at depriving the accused of the benefits of his or her ill-gotten wealth.
CBI in its FIR filed on September 3, 2012, had named
Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, its two directors along with some unknown public servants of the Ministry of Coal and Jharkhand government and others in this case.
The FIR was lodged after a preliminary enquiry was initiated on the reference of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
In the FIR, CBI had also accused unknown officials of the Coal Ministry of entering into conspiracy and “wilfully” not scrutinising documents to allow “undue advantage” for the company in getting the blocks.
The agency, in its FIR against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, had said in order to “embellish its claim for allocation of coal block”, the firm “fraudulently” claimed that it was having the required net worth to get the coal mines.
CBI had said that after allocation of coal blocks, the promoters and shareholders of Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd sold off their entire shareholdings in July 2010 to Essar Power Ltd and its subsidiary company at “huge profit of over Rs. 200 crores.”
However, Essar Power Ltd has not been named as an accused in the charge sheet.
The ED, in the latest attachment, also seized land worth Rs. 11.20 crore in the Ranga Reddy district, saying “it was found that the same was purchased out of poceeds of crime transferred by Mahalaxmi Group to PVP Global Ventures”.