The Directorate of Enforcement attaches properties worth Rs 52.73 crore in Navi Mumbai under PMLA in a case of alleged money laundering involving Monarch Universal Group.

Enforcement Directorate Action

In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Mumbai Zonal Office, has taken action against alleged financial malpractice by attaching immovable properties located in Navi Mumbai. These properties, valued at approximately Rs 52.73 crore, have been seized under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The ED’s action comes as part of its ongoing efforts to investigate and address instances of financial irregularities and money laundering.

Investigation Details

The ED’s investigation was initiated in response to multiple FIRs filed by the Maharashtra Police against Monarch Universal Group, its directors, and other associated individuals. These FIRs, registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, alleged fraudulent activities related to the sale of residential properties. Specifically, the complaints accused the group of deceiving genuine flat buyers by collecting payments for property sales but failing to register the transactions properly.

Money Trail and Fraudulent Activities

During the course of its investigation, the ED uncovered a complex web of financial transactions orchestrated by Gopal Amarlal Thakur, a director of the Monarch Universal Group. Thakur stands accused of diverting significant amounts of investors’ funds to various sister entities through illicit means. The investigation revealed that these diverted funds were subsequently used to finance projects undertaken by several builders operating in Navi Mumbai, including Baba Homes Builders and Developers, Lakhani Builders, and Monarch Solitaire LLP.

Furthermore, the ED’s findings indicated instances where the same residential units were sold to multiple buyers, leading to financial losses for unsuspecting purchasers. Additionally, it was discovered that the accused individuals had obtained loans from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) by pledging properties that had already been sold, without the knowledge or consent of the legitimate buyers.

Legal Proceedings

As a result of its investigation, the ED took decisive action against Gopal Amarlal Thakur, who was arrested on July 1, 2021, and is currently in judicial custody. Subsequently, a prosecution complaint was filed on August 26, 2021, with the Special PMLA Court, which has since taken cognizance of the case. In a significant move, the ED provisionally attached proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 52.73 crore, representing funds that had been illicitly diverted and utilized by the accused individuals.

Ongoing Investigation

While significant progress has been made in uncovering the extent of the financial irregularities perpetrated by the Monarch Universal Group and its associates, the ED has affirmed that its investigation remains ongoing. The agency is committed to pursuing all leads and gathering additional evidence to ensure that all individuals involved in the alleged money laundering scheme are brought to justice.

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