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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Former promoters of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited arrested in money laundering case

Former chairman and promoter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) T. Venkattram Reddy, his former director P.K. Iyer and auditor Mani Oommen were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The trio was seen leaving the ED’s office at Basheerbagh in a police vehicle. Later in the day, they were escorted by officials to Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad, for medical tests, for later producing them before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Nampally.

The former promoters, the central agencies in its earlier notes said, had defrauded banks, defaulted loans taken from various lenders and were involved in money laundering.

The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case in 2013 following a complaint by Canara Bank on default of ₹357 crore, part of a corporate loan taken by DCHL. Investigation revealed that the company concealed its various liabilities and fabricated several documents to avail itself of loans. It had registered six FIRs. Two years later, Mr.Reddy was arrested for the same.

The Enforcement Directorate, based on CBI’s findings, entered the investigation to probe money laundering. It found that the investment loans availed by DCHL were allegedly based on false financial statements, routed to other businesses such as DCHL’s Indian Premier League Hyderabad Deccan Chargers team in 2009, among other large-scale personal expenditures.

Mr. Reddy and two others, including his promoter-brother T.Vinayak Ravi Reddy, were booked under the IPC for using forged documents as genuine, criminal conspiracy and cheating.

In all, the central agencies have attached 14 properties of DCHL located in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai worth about ₹265 crore till 2020. The current default to banks now, including the interest component, is estimated to be about ₹8,180 crore.

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