The ED has arrested Raj Singh Gehlot, promoter of the Ambience group, in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 800 crore, officials said on Thursday. They said Gehlot was arrested on Wednesday under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was produced before a court here on Thursday that sent him to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till August 5, they said. The central probe agency had raided Gehlot, his company Aman Hospitality Private Limited (AHPL), some other firms of the Ambience group, director in the company Dayanand Singh, Mohan Singh Gehlot and their associates in July last year.
The ED case 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 alleged money laundering in the construction and development of the five-star Leela Ambience Convention Hotel located at 1, CBD, Maharaj Surajmal Road, near the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi. The ED probe found that “a huge part of the loan amount of more than Rs 800 crore, which was sanctioned by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was siphoned off by AHPL, Raj Singh Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies owned and controlled by them".
“A substantial part of the loan money was transferred by AHPL to several companies and individuals on the pretext of payment of running bills and advance for supply of material and work executed," the agency had alleged. The employees of the Ambience group and Gehlot’s associates were made directors and proprietors in these companies and Gehlot was the “authorised signatory" in many of these entities, it had said.
“No material was supplied and no work was executed 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 siphoned off through multiple layers in a complex web of group entities," the ED had said.