ED attaches Rs 204-cr assets of Gujarat-based firm

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 204.27 crore of Gujarat-based Ardor Group of Companies for allegedly cheating and causing loss to a consortium of banks led by the Bank of India that totalled up to Rs 488 crore.

The attached properties include Ahmedabad-based commercial office of the company at SG Highway, a residential plot at Satellite, five residential plots at Ambali, 17 residential plots at Gokul Dham, four shops at Bodakdev, office premises at Ellisbridge and Ashram Road. A non-agricultural land at Surat was also attached.

The agency attached the assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

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The ED initiated investigation on the basis of six FIRs registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), Gandhinagar, based on allegation that the Ardor Group and its directors in connivance with unknown bank officials had cheated and caused wrongful loss to the consortium of banks.

The ED investigation revealed that Bharat Shah, Fenil Shah, and Geetaben Shah — directors of Ardor International Ltd, Ardor Global Pvt Ltd, and Chem Edge International Pvt Ltd — indulged in circular routing of the funds received out of credit limit sanctioned by the consortium of banks to inflate the financials of the companies.

The purpose was to increase the credit facilities from the consortium of banks and obtain loans in the name of the group companies, the ED said.

“They also diverted and misutilised the funds received from the consortium for purposes other than for which the credit facilities were sanctioned,” the ED said.

The group, which is into supply chain management of detergent raw material and other chemicals, had defaulted on loans between 2016 and 2017 towards a consortium of eight banks, including the Central Bank of India.

Further, the ED said, the accused mortgaged assets of other group companies for availing higher credit limits and submitted false stock statements and financials to the consortium banks.

Group companies, namely Ardor International Ltd, Ardor Global Pvt Ltd, and Chem Edge International Pvt Ltd, did not repay the amount owed to the consortium of banks, resulting in accounts becoming NPAs, the ED said.

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