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Bhushan Power and Steel cleared Rs 700 cr goods ‘illegally’ from Odisha plant: ED

New Delhi: In fresh trouble for Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd (BPSL), the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said the firm had engaged in “clandestine clearance” of Rs 700 crore of finished goods from its Odisha plant to its plants at Kolkata and Chandigarh.

As per information, the ED said, these goods were cleared without payment of applicable taxes and duties and without issuance of any statutory invoice.

“This practice, which was resorted to by the erstwhile management of the company, had continued even after initiation of CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process), and some irregularities on part of Resolution Professional (RP) M.K. Khandelwal were also revealed,” said the agency, which is probing the case involving siphoning and diversion of loan funds by BPSL under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED had initiated its investigation on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation FIR filed on April 5 last year under the Prevention of Corruption Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code against BPSL, its promoter Sanjay Singal and others for a criminal conspiracy amongst themselves and with unknown public servants of banks and others to cheat banks.

On Wednesday, the financial probe agency carried out an extensive search operation at four premises – Khandelwal’s residential premises in Delhi and Gurugram, and his Delhi office, and the residence of a former director of the debt-ridden steel company.

The ED seized various incriminating documents, as well as laptops, mobile phones, extracts and other valuables such as jewellery worth Rs 86 lakh during these searches.

Incriminating documents indicating receipt of cash by Khandelwal, while discharging duties of RP and Interim Resolution Professional have also been seized, it said.

“Huge cash payments to various individuals outside the books of accounts indicate siphoning and generation of cash from various concerns undergoing the process of CIRP under NCLT.”

The agency said its investigation has revealed that the accused persons, namely Singal and others illegally diverted huge amounts of funds out of loans taken by the company from various banks, and used these for creation of assets (including equity investment in BPSL) and movable and immovable properties in Delhi and London in the name of companies controlled by Singal.

So far, the assets amounting to Rs 4,229.54 crore have been identified and provisionally attached, said the ED, adding prosecution complaint has also been filed against 25 accused.

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