During the first term of Narendra Modi as prime minister, businessmen allegedly involved in financial frauds such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi managed to leave the country despite lookout circular notices (LOC) issued against them.
New Delhi (Sputnik): As part of its ongoing endeavour to tighten the noose around businessmen allegedly involved in financial irregularities or frauds, Indian agencies have stopped a second businessman within a week that was suspected of attempting to leave the country and settle abroad. On Thursday, the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) detained Sunil Godhwani, former chairman and managing director of Religare Enterprises Ltd, who was set to board a flight from New Delhi Airport for London.
He is one of the main accused in the Fortis-Religare financial fraud, in which an alleged sum of over $1 billion was siphoned off with the collusion of management. Godhwani has been detained by the EOW on the basis of a lookout circular notice issued against him by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
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The SFIO is investigating a case in which Fortis’ Malvinder and Shivinder Singh — two brothers who were promoters of the multinational company Fortis Healthcare — are the main accused. At the initial investigation conducted by the SFIO, it was found that Godhwani, along with spiritual guru Gurinder Singh Dhillon, was involved in the fund transfer to shell firms allegedly linked to the Singh brothers.
Godhwani, who headed the Religare management until October 2016, allegedly gave unsecured, high-value purported loans to shell companies and related entities of the promoters without adequate documentation.
Last week, citing a lookout circular notice, an enforcement agency deplaned Jet Airways’ former chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal from the Dubai-bound Emirates Flight EK 507 when it was taxing on the runway and was about to take off.
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Jet Airways, grounded since 18 April, owes around $1.2 billion to banks and it has been suspecting that financial irregularities downed the country’s one-time favourite airline.
In April, the Enforcement Directorate claimed that at least 36 businessmen had fled from the country in the recent past. The Indian Foreign Ministry has successfully brought back 16 fugitive criminals from various foreign countries in the last four years.