The Ahmedabad unit of the Enforcement Directorate, in the first such case, has attached 1,280 acre of land in California, USA, for an alleged fraud of Rs 2,200 crore committed on Indian banks by an Indian firm.
“We have attached a property of an Indian firm in the US under the Money Laundering Act,” an Enforcement Directorate official revealed while requesting anonymity. He disclosed that one Vijay Chaudhary, the promoter of Indore and Mumbai-based Zoom Developers, sought loans from a number of Indian banks to develop properties in Europe and the US.
“He had taken bank loans under the pretext of carrying out some construction in Europe but nothing was implemented. Some of the money was used to buy property in the US. This is the first attachment and perhaps could well lead to one of the biggest bank frauds that have happened in India’s history,” the official said.
The value of the property attached in the US is believed to have a market value of Rs 1,000 crore. “One of Zoom’s other directors, Sharad Kabra, was arrested last month and is in judicial custody. An arrest warrant against Vijay Chaudhary has also been issued. The fraud has been going on since 2011 and we began investigations only last year,” the official said.