The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed prosecution complaint under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), against a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and his three associates for spending Rs. 5,41,21,019 more than earning from lawful sources.
The complaint was filed before the PMLA/Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court at Mohali on Tuesday against Mandeep Singh, IAS (Retd.), M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd. and three others for committing an offence of money laundering.
In an investigation, it was revealed that during the period between April 1998 to March 31, 2014, Mandeep Singh spent funds totalling to Rs. 5,41,21,019/- in excess (130 percent excess) of the income earned by him and his family members through all the lawful sources of their income. The said expenditure also includes the purchase of agricultural lands in the name of his wife and sons.
"Mandeep Singh, IAS (now retired) has invested illegitimate funds, possessed by him in excess to his known sources of income, running in crores in cash, in the construction of Hotels Marc Royale-I and Marc Royale- II running under the aegis of M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd in connivance with Avtar Singh. This hotel was constructed under the ownership of the company, M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd. Value of hotels is to the extent of Rs. 91.83 crore," reads an official statement.
Elaborating further on the discrepancies found during the investigation, the statement added, "M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd. showed availability of funds by way of issuance of fake shares in the names of various Companies and a number of persons. During the investigation, these companies were found bogus/shell in nature. The shareholders of M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd. have also been found bogus. The unaccounted funds laundered in the Hotels belonged to Mandeep Singh."
It has also been stated that Mandeep Singh had acquired funds to the tunes of Rs. 2.50 crore using bogus agreement to sell his house. The above money is revealed to be illegitimate fund and in excess to known sources of his income and income of his family members. All these funds were used by prime accused to purchase agricultural lands in the name of his wife and his sons.
Following the investigation, the ED also issued Provisional Attachment Order (PAO) to attach immovable properties worth Rs. 94.45 crores which include agricultural lands owned by Maya Devi and her sons and Hotel Marc Royale-I and Hotel Marc Royale-II under the aegis of M/s Ashiana Inn Ltd.
The attachment of the above-mentioned properties allegedly representing proceeds of crime has already been confirmed by adjudication authority, PMLA.