ED Arrests Unitech Founder, 2 Others

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra, his daughter-in-law Preeti Chandra and another co-accused named Rajesh Malik in connection with an ongoing money-laundering probe.

The federal agency had previously quizzed Preeti Chandra, the wife of former Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra. It will now seek the trio’s custodial interrogation.

ET in April reported that the agency had informed a local court that Preeti Chandra was “involved in laundering and layering of funds deposited by homebuyers” with the real estate company. The ED had then claimed that she had “financial linkage” with Unitech and that “substantial funds were diverted” from the company and its subsidiaries to her personal account.

The agency had also informed the court that she had acquired the citizenship of a tax haven in 2015 but did not disclose “the purpose (for acquiring the citizenship), her address and investments thereof” in Dominica. Seeking dismissal of Preeti Chandra’s plea wherein she had challenged a lookout circular against her, the ED had said she had obtained the citizenship of the Caribbean nation after the Unitech group came under the scanner of investigative agencies.

The ED had said she “might engage in dissipation of the properties stashed abroad which are generated out of proceeds of crime”. The agency had further said that it had attached assets worth Rs.350 crores where the role of Preeti Chandra had also allegedly surfaced.

The ED claimed that she was a director at Prakausli Investment (India) Pvt Ltd and Harsil Projects Ltd, both promoters of Unitech companies.

She was examined by the ED on March 10 wherein she had claimed that she was not a director in any of the companies of Unitech or its related companies. S-ET

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