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ED attaches fresh assets of Kerala finance company, promoters

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday it seized assets worth Rs 33.84 crore from a Kerala-based financial group and its promoters in a money laundering case linked to alleged duping of investors amounting to Rs 1,000 crore .

The agency had seized assets worth Rs 31.16 crore from the accused company, Popular Finance Group, and its promoters earlier in September.

The agency has again issued a preliminary injunction under the Money Laundering Prevention Act (PMLA) to seize new property belonging to these entities.

“The assets attached include 11 real estate such as land and buildings in Kerala, gold weighing 11.85 kg pledged by the public, which was re-pledged on behalf of the promoters and staff of the Popular Finance group, 19 fixed deposits of the promoters, Rs 3.79 crore cash, deposits in 208 bank accounts of the group entities and its promoters and 291 treasury accounts,” the ED said in a statement.

The ED said as many as 1,300 FIRs were filed by Kerala Police in various districts in this case and “about 3,000 savers were defrauded for the amount of about Rs 1,000 crore.”

It said the group and its affiliates are family-owned and that Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas control the entire company, spanning 270 branches in Kerala and other states.

The two initiators were arrested by the ED in August.

“The deposits of the general public were illegal and without any legal authorization from regulatory bodies like RBI etc.

“The hard-earned money of the general public, mobilized as deposits by luring them with high interest rates, has been illegally used to purchase real estate and high-end cars, parked as fixed deposits in the name of relatives, and was also waived abroad. for non-viable and bogus businesses,” the ED statement claimed.

The company, it said, had “no viable business” to back up its pledge of higher interest rates to depositors.

“They paid interest and maturities from deposits taken only from the general public.

The gold pledged by the general public was re-pledged for the use of loans, and the proceeds of the loan were forwarded to the family’s personal accounts,” the agency said.

Assets worth Rs 65 crore in this case have been seized by the ED so far.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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