Enforcement Directorate searches M3M, IREO Group for siphoning off investors money

June 6, 2023

Less than a month after Panchkula-based Special Judge Sudhir Parmar was booked by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Haryana for allegedly favouring real estate developers M3M and IREO Group, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has carried out searches against their premises at seven locations in Delhi and Gurugram on charges of misappropriating funds of investors.

According to the FIR registered by ACB on May 17, accessed by businessline, Judge Parmar is alleged to have shown “favouritism” in the ED case against Roop Bansal, his brother Basant Bansal, the owners of M3M, and Lalit Goyal, proprietor of IREO Group, pending before his court in “lieu of undue advantage”.

The ACB booked Parmar and Goyals under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

What the ED’s statement say

In an official statement issued on Monday, the ED stated that its probe allegedly “showed that in one of the transactions, M3M Group received about ₹400 crore from IREO Group through several shell companies in multiple layers”. The transaction was shown in the books of IREO as payments towards development rights, the agency pointed out.

The land was owned by M3M Group and the market value of the land was around ₹4 crore. “M3M Group initially sold the development rights of the said land to five shell companies for payment of ₹10 crore… Investigations show that the five shell companies were operated by M3M Group,” the ED charged.

Later, the agency said the five shell companies sold the development rights of the same land to IREO Group for about ₹400 crore. After receiving the amount of ₹400 crore from IREO Group, the five shell companies transferred the said amounts immediately to M3M Group through multiple shell companies and layers, the ED charged.

“All the shell companies were owned and operated by M3M Group under the directions of its promoters Basant Bansal and Roop Kumar Bansal and his family members,” the ED charged.

In this way, IREO and M3M allegedly siphoned off about ₹400 crore money belonging to investors/customers and the proceeds of the crime remained with M3M Group which was used by the latter company for other investments and paying off liabilities. The IREO Group informed the ED did not make any efforts to develop the land, and started to write off the investments every year.

‘Avoiding investigations’

During search action under Section 17 of PMLA, the ED stated that Basant Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal, and other key persons deliberately avoided investigations.

The ED has seized 17 high-end luxury vehicles — Ferrari, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes Maybach, etc — having acquisition value of approximately ₹60 crore, jewellery and bullion worth ₹5.75 crore, and ₹15 lakh cash. Besides that, various incriminating documents, digital evidences, and books of accounts too were confiscated.

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