The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested Roop Kumar Bansal, the director of Delhi-based real estate company M3M Group, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Bansal was arrested after the agency conducted searches across seven locations of M3M and another developer IREO Group in the Delhi-NCR region earlier this month.

The promoters and other senior company officials have been accused of siphoning off and misappropriating funds worth ₹400 crore.

"ED has carried out search operations on 01.06.2023 under the PMLA, 2002 at 07 locations of Delhi/ Gurugram belonging to IREO Group and M3M Group for diverting/siphoning off/ misappropriating funds," the agency said.

During the search operation, 17 high-end luxury vehicles having acquisition value of around ₹60 crore, jewellery or bullion worth ₹5.75 crore, cash worth ₹15 lakh, and various incriminating documents, digital evidence, and books of accounts were seized, it said.

ED was investigating IREO Group for diverting or siphoning off or misappropriating funds of investors. The probe was initiated based on multiple FIRs registered against IREO Group, which showed a huge amount of money running to hundreds of crores was siphoned off through the M3M group also.

"The investigations done by ED showed that in one of the transactions, M3M group received about Rs. 400 Crore from IREO Group through several shell companies in multiple layers. The transaction was shown in the books of IREO as payments towards development rights," the ED said.

The land was owned by M3M group and the market value of the land was around ₹4 crore, it said, adding that M3M Group initially sold the development rights of the said land to 5 shell companies for ₹10 crore.

As per the agency, it was claimed that the five companies are unrelated companies, though the probe showed that they were operated by the M3M group. The 5 shell companies, thereafter, immediately sold the development rights of the same land to IREO Group for about ₹400 crore, it said.

After receiving the amount of ₹400 crore from IREO Group, the five shell companies transferred the said amounts immediately to M3M Group through multiple shell companies and layers, the ED claimed.

"All the shell companies were owned and operated by M3M Group under the directions of its promoters Basant Bansal and Roop Kumar Bansal and his family members. In this way, IREO and M3M siphoned off about Rs 400 crore money belonging to investors/ customers and the proceeds of the crime remained with M3M Group which was used by M3M for other investments/ paying off liabilities. On the other hand, IREO Group did not make any efforts to develop the land and started to write off the investments every year."

During search action under section 17 of PMLA, 2002, the M3M Group owners, Basant Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal & others, deliberately avoided investigations, the agency claimed.

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