200+ Plots, Flats in 3 States Linked to Money-Laundering Case: ED
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has announced that more than 200 land plots & flats across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Karnataka have been linked in a probe against alleged Ponzi-scheme promoters who have been accused of duping numerous investors. According to the Enforcement Directorate, a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was issued to link these properties to the case. The total value of these properties exceeds ₹110 crores.
The assets mentioned are held in the name of Maithri Plantation & Horticulture Pvt. Ltd. (MPHPL), sister company Sree Nakshatra Builders & Developers India Pvt. Ltd. (SNBDIPL), Mahima Realtors India Pvt. Ltd. (MRIPL) and the directors of these companies – Lakku Konda Reddy, Lakku Malayadri Reddy, Kolikalapudi Brahma Reddy & Lakku Madhava Reddy. Of the total 210 assets discovered, 196 properties are situated in Andhra Pradesh, 13 in Telangana & 1 in Karnataka. The properties involved include both land plots & apartment flats, the ED revealed in its statement.
The ED statement read “MPHPL ran an illegal Ponzi scheme and solicited deposits from the general public without any permission and without any kind of license to run a collective investment or NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company). It collected money from lakhs of gullible depositors who were encouraged to do so by a network of organised agents who were, in turn, promised very high commissions on the invested amounts. The accused managed to collect Rs 288.42 crore from lakhs of gullible investors. To date, out of the collected amount, MPHPL has failed to return/repay nearly ₹158.14 crore to the investors.”
Investors were lured with false promises of very high returns or with the assurance of delivery of a plot in dream projects on maturity. The federal agency’s probe into the money trail discovered that the funds collected from the public by MPHPL were illegally diverted to sister companies like SNBDIPL & MRIPL for their real-estate businesses and several properties were acquired using this money across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Karnataka. The evidence suggests some properties were acquired in Kerala too. The Enforcement Directorate had filed the money laundering case after it studied more than a dozen FIRs filed by the Andhra Pradesh Police Dept. against the accused during the month of March in 2013.
Following which, The ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of the FIR registered by Andhra Pradesh Police under section 420 of the IPC, Sec 4 and 5 read with sections 2(c) of Prize Chits Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act and Sec 5 of APPDFE Act against Lakku Konda Reddy and others for allegedly cheating and defrauding general public.