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ED attaches fresh assets of Kerala finance company, promoters - Business Standard

The agency again issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach fresh properties of these entities

Topics Kerala | finance sector | Companies

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has attached assets worth Rs 33.84 crore of a Kerala-based finance group and its promoters in a money laundering case linked to alleged duping of investors to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.

The agency had earlier attached assets worth Rs 31.16 crore of the accused company, Popular Finance group, and its promoters in September.

The agency again issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach fresh properties of these entities.

"The attached assets include 11 immovable properties like land and building in Kerala, gold weighing 11.85 kg pledged by public, which was re-pledged in the name of the promoters and staff of Popular Finance group, 19 fixed deposits of the promoters, Rs 3.79 crore cash, balances in 208 bank accounts of the group entities and its promoters and 291 treasury deposit accounts," the ED said in a statement.

The ED said as many as 1,300 FIRs were filed by the Kerala Police in various districts in this case and "about 3,000 depositors were cheated to the tune of around Rs 1,000 crore."

It said the group and its allied entities are family controlled business and Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas were controlling the entire business, spread across 270 branches in Kerala and other states.

The two promoters were arrested by the ED in August.

"The deposits taken from general public were illegal and without any statutory permission from any regulatory agencies like RBI etc.

"The hard-earned money of the general public, mobilised as deposits by luring them of high interest rates, have been illegally utilizsed for purchase of properties and high-end cars, parked as fixed deposits in the name of family members and also got remitted abroad for non-viable and sham business enterprises," the ED statement alleged.

The company, it said, had "no viable business" to sustain the promise of higher interest to depositors.

"They were paying interests and matured amount out of deposits taken from general public only.

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The gold pledged by the general public were re-pledged for availing loans and the loan proceeds got routed to personal accounts of the family," the agency said.

Assets worth Rs 65 crore have been attached by the ED in this case till now.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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