After Aamby Valley property, ED seeks SC nod to attach Sahara Group's overseas assets

More trouble seems to be brewing for the beleaguered Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy. After the Apex Court earlier this week ordered the government to attach Sahara Group's Aamby Valley property near Pune, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) now has sought the Supreme Court's nod to attach the group's hotels and four other properties present in overseas destinations, Times of India said in its report.

The ED has alleged that the group had acquired these properties using money raised from investors that were declared illegal by the apex court.

This information was revealed by stock market regulator Sebi which said Sahara Housing and Sahara Real Estate had together mopped up Rs 25,000 crore from nearly three crore investors by issuing unsecured optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs). However, the SC later declared that funds raised by the Sahara companies were illegal, after Sahara Prime City Ltd filed a draft red herring prospectus for its proposed initial public offer on 30 September, 2009.

Subrata Roy. PTI

Subrata Roy. PTI

"The director of enforcement has reasons to believe that Sahara Real Estate and Sahara Housing have collected huge funds by way of fraudulent means in the guise of OFCDs and were channelled through group companies and finally integrated the same in the accounts of Aamby Valley (Mauritius) Ltd, the integration of such illegal funds was done in the guise of loans/joint venture advances. Thereafter, the said funds were used to procure properties mentioned abroad by way of acquiring the equity of the respective property owner entities," the TOI report said quoting the ED.

The latest development comes days after the apex court ordered attachment of the Sahara Group's prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.

The apex court also asked Sahara Group to provide it within two weeks the list of "unencumbered properties" which can be put on public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the principal amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the Sebi-Sahara account for refunding money to the investors.

The bench had at the last hearing granted liberty to the Sahara Group chief to transfer 35 million pounds, equivalent to Rs 285 crore, deposited in a bank in London to SEBI-Sahara account as part of Rs 600 crore payment required to be made.

The apex court had on 6 May 2016 granted a four-week parole to Roy to attend the funeral of his mother. His parole has been extended by the court since then.

Roy was sent to Tihar Jail on 4 March 2014. During the last hearing, the bench had scrutinised the repeated extension of Roy's parole and said too much indulgence had been shown to him by the court.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Feb 09, 2017 10:24:10 IST

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