Seventeen luxury vehicles, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Mercedes-Maybach, with a combined value of around Rs 60 crores, along with jewelry worth Rs 5.75 crores, Rs 15 lakh in cash, and various incriminating documents, digital evidence, and accounting records, were seized during a search operation conducted at seven locations on June 1 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), as stated by the ED.

The ED initiated PMLA investigations based on multiple first information reports (FIR) filed against the IREO group. The investigations revealed that substantial sums of money were also diverted through the M3M group. An ED statement released on Monday disclosed this information.

According to the ED statement, “Investigations revealed that, in one transaction, the M3M group received approximately Rs 400 crores from the IREO group through several shell companies. The land, owned by the M3M group, had a market value of around Rs 4 crore. Initially, the M3M group sold the development rights of the land to five unrelated shell companies for Rs 10 crore. However, it was discovered that these five companies were actually operated by the 3M Group. Immediately after, the M3M group sold the development rights of the same land to the IREO group for approximately Rs 400 crore. The shell companies then transferred the entire amount back to the M3M group. All shell companies were owned and operated by the M3M Group, under the direction of its promoters, Basant Kumar Bansal and Roop Kumar Bansal, as well as their family members.”

The statement further highlighted, “Through this scheme, IREO, and M3M illicitly siphoned off approximately Rs 400 crore belonging to investors and customers, with the proceeds of the crime remaining within the M3M Group.”

During the search operation, key individuals such as Basant Kumar Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal, and others intentionally evaded the investigation.

In another development, the names of IREO vice-chairperson Lalit Goyal and Roop Kumar were mentioned in an FIR registered by the Haryana anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on April 17. The FIR charged former CBI judge Sudhir Parmar and his nephew Ajay Parmar with sections related to corruption and criminal conspiracy. Sudhir Parmar, who was suspended on April 27, has been accused of favoritism towards real estate developers including Roop Bansal, Basant Bansal, and Lalit Goyal.

IREO’s lawyer, Sameer Chaudhary, denied any misconduct or wrongdoing on behalf of the company in connection with the ACB FIR in an email response on May 11.

Sources indicate that the ED is likely to initiate PMLA investigations in the ACB case in Panchkula based on the April 17 FIR, following the registration of an enforcement case information report (ECIR). This move by the ED is bolstered by a May 12 Supreme Court ruling, which established a strong connection between criminal activity, proceeds of crime, and corruption offenses.

The ED has been investigating allegations of fund diversion by real estate developer IREO, targeting the funds of investors and home buyers. In November 2021, the ED arrested Lalit Goyal, and in February 2022, they filed a prosecution complaint against him in a special PMLA court in Panchkula. Lalit Goyal was granted regular bail on medical grounds by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in August 2022.

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