The 14-day lockdown across India is currently in force and many states including Maharashtra have increased the lockdown period to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Under the lockdown, citizens are now allowed to leave their homes for any kind of work except for buying essentials. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued seizure orders for luxury cars used by DHFL promoters – Kapil Wadhwan and Dheeraj Wadhwan that were used to travel to their farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Maharashtra.
The central agency issued the order to seize the vehicles under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that was issued to the Satara Superintended of Police for execution. The ED issued an order to seize 2 Land Rover Range Rover SUVs and three Toyota Fortuner SUVs as a part of Yes Bank case. Wadhwan brothers were also detained after they travelled with 21 others to Mahabaleshwar during the state of a complete lockdown.
Enforcement Directorate issued the order saying that Kapil Wadhwan and Dheeraj Wadhwan are being probed for money laundering case and they are the beneficial owners of five high-end luxury SUVs. Investigations by ED reveals that the vehicles are proceeds of crime under the provision of the money laundering act. Therefore, the cops should immediately seize the vehicles under section 17 of PMLA.
Not only ED but even the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wrote a letter to the Stara Police Officer after Wadhwans flouted the lockdown rules. CBI mentioned that the Wadhwans remained absconding since the beginning of the investigation. It should be noted that the Court of Special Judge, CBI Cases, Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against the Wadhwan brothers and they failed to appear in the court.
The two Land Rover Range Rover SUVs seized by the cops bear the Jharkhand registration number while the Fortuners are registered in Maharashtra. The registration in Jharkhand has been done to save the registration tax money, which is quite high in Maharashtra. The two Range Rover SUVs are the pre-facelifted version of the model. They cost about Rs 1.5 crore each while the Fortuners cost about Rs 40 lakh, on-road in Maharashtra. Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhwan have been booked under various sections of IPC and Disaster Management act. Both the brothers are probed by the ED as a part of two PMLA cases linked to gangster Iqbal Mirchi and Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor.
Last year, the Enforcement Directorate seized several luxury cars owned by the Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan family in relation to the PMC bank fraud case. There were Rolls Royce Phantom, Rolls Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, two Land Rover Range Rover SUVs and a BMW sedan. The cars were seized during raids at six different places in Mumbai.