ED attaches Rs 822 crore worth assets of Satyam's Raju, others

ED attaches Rs 822 crore worth assets of Satyam's Raju, others Hyderabad/New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate Thursday issued attachment orders freezing fixed deposits worth Rs 822 crore of Satyam Computer Services Limited, now Mahindra Satyam, in connection with its probe in a money laundering case.
The company SCSL, whose FDs have been attached, was taken over by Tech Mahindra in 2009 in the aftermath of the scam and the ED has taken the action in order to proceed with the prosecution process against B Ramalinga Raju and his family members over alleged financial misdealings.

Raju was the Chairman of SCSL before the scam came to light.

The ED attached the accounts of SCSL as its probe found that Raju and his associates "wrongfully" offloaded inflated shares of the said company by way of sale or pledging of shares, the orders said.

According to it, Raju and his family members allegedly "lured" investors into buying these shares by publishing "false" information about the financial credentials of the scam-hit company.

"Trail of loans derived from front companies revealed that Rs 822 crores out of Rs 2171.45 crore found their way to Ms SCSL and were used for day-to-day expenses like payment of salaries among others.

"Since this amount subsists with Ms SCSL and constitutes a part of the loans that were derived or obtained by pledge of inflated shares of Ms SCSL, which is, Rs 2171.45 crores they fall within the mischief of proceeds of crime under the PMLA and are liable for attachment," the order said.

When contacted, an official spokesperson of Mahindra Satyam refused to comment saying that the senior management is still 'assessing' the situation.

The orders issued by the Hyderabad zonal office of the agency specify that these deposits, held in the accounts of SCSL were being attached as it has identified these value of assets as "proceeds of crime" under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The accounts of SCSL, according to the ED attachment order, in Andhra bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and ING Vysya have been frozen, even as the agency has filed a complaint in this regard with the Adjudicating authority of the PMLA in Delhi.

An attachment under PMLA ensures that such assets cannot be used by the accused and they cannot take any benefits from these properties. The orders can be challenged by the accused before the adjudicating authority.

PTI