Gautam Thapar, Avantha Group promoter, arrested by ED in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar in connection with a money laundering case, officials said on Wednesday. Thapar was arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday night after the agency carried out raids against him and his linked businesses in Delhi and Mumbai, they said. The ED has been probing an alleged transaction between his company Avantha Realty, Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor and his wife, who are already being investigated under the PMLA by the agency.

Rana Kapoor was arrested by the ED on March 8, 2020, after 30 hours of questioning. The ED has alleged that Kapoor misused his position as the Chief Executive Officer of Yes Bank to benefit his daughters’ companies. According to the agency, loans worth Rs.30,000 crore were given by Yes Bank when he was at the helm of affairs. Out of these, advances of Rs. 20,000 crore became NPAs (non-performing assets).

Yes Bank scam: ED provisionally attaches Rana Kapoor’s London apartment worth Rs 127 crores.

The ED maintained Rana Kapoor’s family members were associated with 78 companies that were allegedly used for the movement of money. On the other hand, Kapoor’s counsel has highlighted his client’s contribution to the bank, including the awards which he received. Furthermore, it was stressed that Kapoor’s family members never defaulted on any of the loans granted. After the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yes Bank co-founder moved a bail application citing a threat to his life. The plea mentioned that the Yes Bank founder’s existing medical conditions such as bronchial asthma, chronic immunodeficiency syndrome, severe hypertension, depression put him at a high risk of a lung infection if he contracted COVID-19 in jail. Moreover, it was argued that Kapoor needed to stay at home and get home-cooked food. But, he continues to languish in jail as this plea and subsequent applications were rejected.

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