ED raids seven premises of Ambience Grp, seizes foreign currency, incriminating documents
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided seven premises related to realty player Ambience Group. The Group owns Ambience Mall (Gurgugram) and Leela Ambience Convention Hotel in eastern part of Delhi.
ED raided the office premises of Aman Hospitality Pvt Ltd (AHPL) which is an Ambience Group firm. It also raided homes of Ambience Group’s directors Raj Singh Gehlot, Mohan Singh Gehlot, Dayanand Singh and many of their associates.
These raids were conducted by ED in relation to a case of Rs 800 crore bank loan that was allegedly siphoned off by the Group by creation of multiple shell companies established by Gehlot, according to ED. The employees of Ambience Group were made directors in the shell firms.
ED seized Rs 16 lakh cash in Indian currency and foreign currency equivalent to Rs 24 lakh at the residence of Raj Singh Gehlot. Multiple incriminating documents, files and digital evidence were also seized, ED said in a statement.
AHPL has availed a loan from a consortium of banks led by J&K Bank of Rs 800 crore for the construction of ‘Leela Ambience Convention Hotel’, a 5-star property, on Maharaj Surajmal Road, in Eastern Delhi. The oan was allegedly siphoned off by the Gehlots.
“Investigation under PMLA revealed that a huge part of loan amount of more than Rs 800 crore for the hotel project was siphoned off by AHPL and Raj Singh Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies owned / controlled by them. A substantial part of the loan money was transferred by AHPL to several companies and individuals on the pretext of ‘payment of running bills and advance for supply of material/work executed’. The employees of Ambience Group and the associates of Raj Singh Gehlot were made directors/proprietors of these companies and Raj Singh Gehlot was the ‘authorized signatory’ in many of these companies.”, ED said in a statement.
No building material was supplied and no constriction was carried out and almost the whole bank loan was routed back into the companies and firms owned by Raj Singh & Sons HUF [Hindu Undivided Family] and his brother’s son, the ED further said.
The Leela Ambience Hotel is a 480-room property which is spread over an area of 20,000 square metres.
Interestingly, the Ambience Group has another set of legal troubles in relation to the Ambience Mall in Gurugram. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently asked another central probe agency CBI to conduct a probe the construction the all Ambience Mall as it is alleged that the land on which the mall has been constructed was actually meant for a residential project and the Ambience Group and local authorities had acted in collusion to allow the construction of the mall. The High Court has asked CBI to complete the probe in 6 months.