The ED has captured Raj Singh Gehlot, promoter of the Ambience group, in a money-laundering case associated with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 800 crore, officials said on Thursday. They said Gehlot was caught on Wednesday under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was brought before a court here on Thursday that sent him to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till August 5, they said. The central investigation agency had invaded Gehlot, his company Aman Hospitality Private Limited (AHPL), some other offices of the Ambience group, director in the company Dayanand Singh, Mohan Singh Gehlot and their associates in July last year.
The ED file against Gehlot, who is also a promoter of the Ambience Mall in Gurugram, is based on a 2019 FIR of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Jammu against AHPL and its directors for supposed money laundering in the construction and development of the five-star Leela Ambience Convention Hotel located at 1, CBD, Maharaja Surajmal Road, near the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi. The ED detectives found that “a huge part of the loan amount over Rs 800 crore, which was approved by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was drained by AHPL, Raj Singh Gehlot and his partners through a web of companies owned and controlled by them”.
“A considerable part of the loan money was remitted by AHPL to several companies and individuals on the pretext of payment of running bills and advance for supply of material and work done,” the agency had reported. The employees of the Ambience group and Gehlot’s associates were made directors and proprietors in these offices and Gehlot was the “authorised signatory” in many of these entities, it had said.
“No material was furnished and no work was done and almost the entire amount was immediately routed back to the entities owned by Raj Singh and Sons HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) and his brother’s son. “Money was further drained through multiple layers in a complex web of group entities,” the ED stated.