EOW freezes realty firm’s a/c
Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has frozen the bank account of Sigrun Realties after its former managing director claimed that the current directors had threatened him.
The account, maintained with a private bank, was set up in 2005 by a few NRIs for investing in properties in Mumbai.
In 2011, the EOW officials were investigating a cheating complaint by the directors who alleged that then MD Rajesh Nair had siphoned off around Rs 189 crore. Nair was removed from the firm and while the probe was on, he lodged a complaint of threat in a magistrate’s court. The complaint was forwarded to the EOW, which froze the account saying “proceeds of alleged crime have been received in this account”.
The directors have denied the allegation. They claimed the cheating dispute was settled after Nair filed a consent term agreeing to pay Rs 49.68 crore as settlement by July 2012. “He paid around Rs 8.65 crore and then accused us of forcing him to sign the settlement. He refused to pay the balance. We didn’t issue any threats,” said Naveen Dsouza, director, Sigrun Realties.
The Bombay high court, in one of its hearings, had observed about the violation of bail conditions.
An EOW official said the complaints and counter-allegations are being probed simultaneously by different officers for a fair investigation.
In the threat complaint, the HC has told the EOW to provide three days’ time before arresting the directors.
Nair has also lodged a complaint of forgery by the directors. The EOW also suspects the source of funds and has written to the enforcement directorate for a probe. “Necessary permissions from the RBI were not procured before transferring the funds violating the foreign exchange regulations,” an officer claimed.