PROPERTY magnate and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mangal Prabhat Lodha had come under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate (ED) with a case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, being probed. Lodha’s name was disclosed by the Income Tax (I-T) department, Mumbai in an appraisal report in which he transacted money through Hawala out of the country.
Lodha is facing several criminal and cheating cases, and he dreams to become a minister in the Maharashtra State’s Devendra Fadnavis government at any cost. Lodha claims that no one can stop him from becoming a minister as he has very close and extra terms and conditions with BJP chief Amit Shah.
Former BJP councilor Arvind Jagannath Bane has complained copy available with ABI (Akela Bureau of Investigation) to several top investigating agencies as well Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting to ignore Lodha.
As per the documents available with ABI (abinet.org) on January 10, 2011, Income Tax officials had raided several premises of Lodha Developer Group. On June 29, 2011 officials submitted appraisal report to their higher authorities mentioning one of the leading real estate developers and builders of Mumbai, the (Lodha) group that was founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha in 1980. Lodha is a Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly representing the Malabar Hill constituency. The business is mainly controlled by Mangal Prabhat Lodha (Chairman and Executive Director), Abhishek Lodha (Managing Director, Leads overall Planning) and Abhinandan Lodha Deputy Managing Director, Leads Finance, Sales and Marketing).
The main allegations against Lodha are:
1- Unaccounted sale of car parking.
2- Money being charged on sale of flats.
3- Huge land bank, investment in which a large part is unexplained.
4- Round tripping of fund among the group companies, to disguise the sources and application of accounted funds.
5- Unaccounted sale of scrap.
It is clear that the company is indeed not accounting for any receipts that it obtains from the sale of parking spaces. The money is either collected in cash or by way of cheques in name of third party companies. Such cheques are then encashed through finance brokers like Hiralal who run such a racket at Kalbadevi.
It is quite obvious from evidence discussed in the appraisal report, that the Lodha group has numerous International transactions. It has been raising funds outside India. It also owns a company called Panega Holding Ltd. which also owns properties outside India. The Indian entities are remitting money outside to this company in guise of rent and marketing charges, without any benefits being derived from the same. The group has not been filing any reports under the provisions of section 92 CA.
In fact many of its projects undertaken in India like Belissimo have been sold to Mauritius based associate company without adequate consideration. The Indian company undertakes the construction and marketing while the profits accrue to the Mauritius Company without payment of Indian taxes.
Lodha is expanding in central London. He has bought two buildings there at a combined payment of $645 million. In this series Lodha transacted crores of rupees from Mauritius and London through Hawala and come under ED scanner.
Remember, the issue of black money has been the matter of a serious political debate in India. The new BJP government has said it is committed to tackle this menace. But how is it possible if it’s own party leader Mangal Prabhat Lodha committed similar offence.
Lodha, with a fortune of $2.9 billion has a parallel career as a politician. His colleagues claim that Lodha has no interest in politics. He is using politics to protect his business and himself from any action as well police.
“I am aware that Weight and Measurement department of Maharashtra has issued notice to Lodha as he has cheated flat buyers selling less area than committed. However, Lodha managed to escape with influence on officials,” said Bane.