ED attaches Rs.122.15 Cr assets of Deccan Chronicle, two promoters

Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable assets worth Rs 122.15 crore belonging to Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) and its former promoters in connection with money laundering case. The case is associated with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 8,180 crores committed by the group and its promoters—T Venkatram Reddy and T Vinayakaravi Reddy.

The total attachment in the case now stands at ₹264.56 crores. The 14 properties attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are located in Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and other places. “All these attached assets are not covered under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) process,” the agency said in a release on Friday.

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The ED probe was initiated in 2015, based on six FIRs and the corresponding charge sheets filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The SEBI has also filed prosecution against DCHL. Three promoters of DCHL — P. K. Iyer, T Venkatram Reddy and T Vinayakravi Reddy — manipulated the company’s balance sheets to inflate profits-advertisement revenue and grossly under-stated its financial liabilities for years to cheat the banks and its shareholders, the probe found.

ED alleged that a significant part of the loan was diverted into subsidiaries which did not do any legitimate business. They were also diverted into the promoters’ proprietary concerns without any proper accounting.

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Despite the initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), ED said the accused promoters and their close family members continued to wield indirect control over the print media and were working in senior capacities, drawing large salaries.

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