ED attaches over Rs 187-cr assets in money laundering case against PACL


PTI, May 20, 2022, 5:26 PM IST

The Enforcement Directorate Friday said assets worth more than Rs 187 crore have been attached under the anti-money laundering law in connection with a probe against a company called PACL which is alleged to have duped investors by promising them plots in various parts of the country.

The federal agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attaching total land measuring 3,39,984.2 square metres (valued at Rs 185 crore as per government rate) and Rs 7,51,78,480 bank balance belonging to DDPL Global Infrastructure Private Limited (DDPL), Unicorn Infraprojects and Estates Private Limited (Unicorn) and Brightview Projects and Estates Private Limited in the case of PACL India Limited and others, the agency said in a statement.

PACL India Limited (PACL), the Enforcement Directorate said, collected money from the public under different schemes for allotting plots in various parts of the country or giving an option to take back their expected tentative value of land in lieu of the allotted plot under the scheme on maturity. ”PACL was doing business of real estate and sale of agricultural land in the country through their agents and local office. The company got double benefit by creating easy equity for procurement of land and later taking the benefit on the appreciation of the land prices.” ”PACL had collected amounts running into several crores from investors all over India,” it said.

PACL directors ”siphoned off” amounts received from investors and utilised the same for personal gains by investing in various entities, the agency said.

Linking the above mentioned two companies to PACL, it said, the firm transferred Rs 101 crores (investors’ money) in Dhanashree Developers Private Limited, out of which Rs 26 crore were transferred to DDPL Global Infrastructure Private Limited. PACL also transferred Rs 2,285.79 crore to one Prateek Kumar who invested Rs 94.61 crore in DDPL and Unicorn. ”PACL transferred Rs 110.95 crore in Systematix Venture Capital Trust through its 25 front companies, which was invested in DDPL and Unicorn in form of OFCD (optionally fully convertible debenture) and equity,” the agency alleged.

With the funds received from PACL through various channels, DDPL and Unicorn purchased land parcels at Vasai, Tiwri village in Palgarh district of Maharashtra, it said.

”DDPL and Unicorn entered into various agreements with different entities for sale of FSI (floor space index) and construction of residential cum commercial projects, from which the two entities generated huge profits.” ”The shareholding of DDPL and Unicorn was changed frequently in order to legitimise the funds received from PACL and to ensure that the assets are not taken over and given to investors.” ”The scheme has been cleverly designed to obscure the actual beneficiary of the land and shares to avoid investigation by government agencies. The shareholders of DDPL and Unicorn– Hemant Patil and Dharmesh P Shah– have claim over these assets without actually investing any substantial funds in the companies,” it said.

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