nathella sampath

ED attaches Rs 328-crore properties of Nathella Sampath

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Chennai | Published: August 3, 2018 3:32:06 AM

The Enforcement Directorate, Chennai zone, has attached 37 immovable properties worth about Rs 328 crore belonging to Nathella Sampath Jewelry (NSJPL), its promoters-cum-directors and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case related to bank loan fraud.

In April 2018, based on an FIR registered by the CBI’s bank fraud and security cell, the ED had initiated investigations against Nathella, its promoters and directors and others under the PMLA.

The Enforcement Directorate, Chennai zone, has attached 37 immovable properties worth about Rs 328 crore belonging to Nathella Sampath Jewelry (NSJPL), its promoters-cum-directors and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case related to bank loan fraud.

In April 2018, based on an FIR registered by the CBI’s bank fraud and security cell, the ED had initiated investigations against Nathella, its promoters and directors and others under the PMLA.
NSJPL is engaged in sale of gold jewellery, silver articles and jewellery and jewellery made of precious and semi-precious stones.

The said FIR was filed based on a complaint by SBI, the lead bank of a consortium of lenders, which provided loans to NSJPL. In the complaint, it was alleged that the promoters of NSJPL had unduly availed of bank borrowings in the form of cash credit facilities to the tune of several crores from 2009.
In a statement on Thursday, the ED said it was further alleged that the promoters of NSJPL had been misrepresenting and falsifying books of accounts and financial statements of the company for the purpose of availing of credit facilities from lenders with a clear criminal and malafide intent to cheat and defraud.
The promoters of NSJPL and the other accused have caused a loss of about Rs 380 crore as on February 1, 2018 to the consortium of banks.
The ED searched various premises of NSJPL, its promoters and statutory auditors and various documents and electronic devices were seized. A few showrooms of NSJPL were also surveyed, though no stock of goods were found during the exercise.

During the investigation, it was found that stocks reported to banks were worth about Rs 495 crore as on December 31, 2017. However, as per the forensic audit, actual stocks as on December 31, 2017 were only of about Rs 31 crore. Similarly, sales reported for 2016-17 were Rs 1,517 crore, whereas actual sales as per the forensic audit were about Rs 157 crore. Similar is the case with purchases, which were reported at Rs 1,591 crore, against the actual figure of Rs 61 crore. Thus, loans were obtained fraudulently with the help of false statements.

The investigation has led to identification of 12 immovable properties worth Rs 113 crore which the promoters of NSJPL have derived from crime proceeds. The said properties include showrooms in Chennai, agricultural land in Minjur and a school in Ambattur near Chennai.
In addition to 12 properties, investigating officers also identified 25 other immovable properties worth Rs 215 crore. Mostly these properties were mortgaged with financial institutions outside the consortium of banks and the investigation revealed that crime proceeds were used for payment of the monthly installments towards loans.

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