ED attaches properties worth Rs 904 cr of DSK Group in money laundering case

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday attached assets worth Rs 904 crore of DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd and companies of DSK Group in a case of cheating and syphoning of funds of investors under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), an official statement said.

The ED initiated investigations under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) and chargesheet of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Pune Police.

The chargesheet disclosed that Chairman and Managing Director of DSK Group, Deepak S Kulkarni, group president of DSK Group Shirish D Kulkarni and others have cheated about 35,000 investors of Maharashtra by fraudulently collecting deposits worth Rs 1,084 crore in the guise of offering better returns during the period from 2006 to 2017.

Further investigation by the ED revealed that accused Deepak S Kulkarni, his wife Hemanti D Kulkarni and son Shirish D Kulkarni and others formed eight partnership firms viz D S Kulkarni and Company, D S Kulkarni and Associates, DS Kulkarni and Brothers, DS Kulkarni and Sons, DSK and Sons, DSK and Associates, DSK Construction, DSK Enterprises under the veil of DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd (DSKDL) with the sole motive to collect the funds from gullible investors from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, and other cities of Maharashtra.

The accused have fraudulently projected these partnership firms to be part and parcel of DSKDL. Although, these eight partnership firms didn’t have any profit generating business nevertheless the accused persons in connivance with others, dishonestly induced the gullible public and collected funds from them in the guise of different deposit schemes through these eight partnership firms. 

The money trail established that the accused persons layered and integrated the proceeds of crime, through various high-value sham transactions under the guise of capital borrowing and advances against property among 40 group companies of DSK Group. Also, the money was also laundered in the bank accounts of Deepak S Kulkarni, his family members and close relatives 

The laundered money was further utilised to purchase the land in India and USA in different construction projects of DSKDL or subsidiary of DSKDL, for the operative expenditure of group companies of DSK group, repayment of Bank Loan, purchasing land and paying premiums of high-value Life Insurance policies.

The investigation also revealed that the DSKDL has purchased land at Fursungi near Pune with the total cost of Rs 332 crore between 2006 and 2009 for the development of a special economic zone (SEZ) project. However, in the entire land purchase dealing, the agriculturists got only Rs 147.85 crore and the remaining funds amounting to Rs 184.46 crore was syphoned off to the account of Hemanti D Kulkarni. 

So far identified proceeds of crime consisting of immovable properties amount to Rs 895 crore situated in locations like in Fursungi, Kolhapur, Sangli, Solapur of Maharashtra, Bengaluru and in the USA. Bank balances amounting to Rs 4 Crore and LIC policies worth Rs 5 Crore properties to the tune of Rs 895 crore has been provisionally attached under PMLA.

Further investigation is underway.

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