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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Avantha Group Promoter Gautam Thapar Arrested By ED In A Money Laundering Case

He Alleged Obtained The Loans Worth Rs.1900 Crore In Lieu Of A Property Deal In Favour Of Former Co-Founder Of “Yes Bank”

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA. Mumbai:  Businessman and Avantha Group of companies promoter Gautam Thapar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, on Tuesday night in Delhi, after the agency carried out raids on 14 locations in Delhi and Mumbai, including offices of Thapar.

He is expected to be produced before a court on Wednesday where the ED will seek his custody.

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 The ED has been probing an alleged transaction between his company “Avantha Realty” and “Yes Bank” co-founder Rana Kapoor and his wife Bindu, who are already being investigated under the PMLA by the agency.

The 60-years-old Thapar is being probed for his alleged role in the diversion of bank funds, borrowing funds from the banks by misrepresentation, furnishing incorrect or misleading information, siphoning off funds including various bank loan proceeds, as per the forensic audit report.

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According to sources, the ED has lodged at least two cases including the loss to “Yes Bank”,  against Thapar, his firms, and associates. Rana Kapoor, former MD & CEO of Yes Bank, allegedly obtained gratification in the form of a property at a prime location in New Delhi at much less price than the market value, belonging to Avantha Realty Ltd for sanction of a loan and extending concessions in the already existing credit facilities provided to Avantha Group (AG) companies.

The ED has alleged that Kapoor and his wife purchased a 1.2 acre-bungalow located on Amrita Shergill Marg in Delhi from Avantha Realty Limited at half its market price. The market value of this property is Rs 685 crore. In return, “Yes Bank” extended the bank loans worth nearly Rs.1900 crore to Avantha Realty. After taking cognizance of an FIR registered by the CBI in March 2020, the ED started investigating an alleged property transaction between the Avantha Realty Limited and “Yes Bank”. Thapar is also accused in another CBI case of causing a purported loss of Rs.466.51 crore to “Yes Bank”.

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It may be recalled that on March 05, 2020, RBI had imposed a 30 Days moratorium on “Yes Bank” and had replaced the entire top management to avoid the collapse of the bank. Besides, the RBI had granted Rs 50,000 crore as an emergency fund to the bank for its operations.

Later RBI, reconstructed the “Yes Bank” board and named Prashant Kumar, former Chief financial officer of SBI, as new MD & CEO at Yes Bank.

In another case, Thapar has been booked by CBI, based on the complaint of State Bank of India and CG Power and Industrial Solution Ltd, for defrauding over Rs 2,435 crore from the consortium of banks led by SBI.

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