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ED attaches Bhushan Steel’s assets worth ₹4025 crore

New Delhi: In a major blow to Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday attached assets worth ₹4,025 crore, in connection with its ongoing money-laundering probe linked to an alleged bank loan fraud.

The probe agency said it had attached immovable properties — land, building, plant and machinery — of the firm located in Odisha under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). While this is the first such attachment in the probe, the agency is likely to continue further attachment of assets.

The ED, in a statement, alleged that BPSL had used “various modus operandi to siphon funds obtained as loans from various banks.”

It added that investigations conducted under the PMLA revealed that “An amount of ₹695.14 crore was introduced as capital by Sanjay Singal (the then CMD of the company) and his family members in BPSL out of artificially generated long-term capital gains (LTCG) by diversion of bank loans fund of BPSL,” the probe agency said.

It added that while BPSL had made RTGS payments to various entities against “fictitious purchases of capital goods,” these entities had transferred cash to BPSL which was ultimately traced to have been “used for generation of artificial LTCG by hiking up the prices of penny stocks by way of synchronized trading. Another amount of ₹ 3330.09 crores invested as equity (share capital and premium) by promoter companies was also found to have been routed out of the funds obtained as various loans from banks diverted from accounts of BPSL in the shape of advances shown to various shell companies operated by the different entry operators.”

The probe agency also added that investigations revealed the circular diversion of funds amounting to ₹4025.23 crore, which is “related to criminal activity of scheduled offence.”