ED freezes Manappuram Finance MD’s assets worth ₹143 crore

The Enforcement Directorate froze the assets of VP Nandakumar, Managing Director and CEO of Manappuram Finance for a total amount of Rs 143 crore as part of the investigation under PMLA, 2002.

The frozen assets included eight bank accounts, an investment in listed shares and shares in Manapuram Finance Limited. In addition, several incriminating documents proving money laundering and property documents of 60 properties were also seized during the search process, according to a press release issued here.

The ED conducted searches under PMLA, 2002 at six premises in Thrissur belonging to Manappuram Finance Limited and its Managing Director VP Nandakumar as part of the investigation under PMLA, 2002 into allegations of money laundering from illegal collection of deposits from the public.

Money laundering

ED searches uncovered evidence of money laundering and large scale cash transactions in the form of public deposits, which were carried out by VP Nandakumar through his own company, Manappuram Agro Farms (MAGRO) without RBI approval. He illegally collected deposits in various branch offices of Manappuram Finance Limited (MFL) a public listed company, through some of its employees.

The illegally collected outstanding deposit, which is the proceeds of crime was revealed to be ₹143 crore. When the Reserve Bank of India found out the same and ordered the amount to be returned to the depositors, the accused replied to RBI that they had returned the money to the depositors, but the ED investigation revealed that there was no proof of payment or lack of KYC for the depositors. Further, Rs 53 crore deposits were shown in cash, but without proof of payment or KYC, the statement added.

During the searches, it was found that the proceeds of crime had been diverted and invested by VP Nandakumar in immovable property in his name, wife and children and in shares of Manappuram Finance Ltd. Role of the Chief Financial Officer of Manappuram Finance Limited Other employees suspected of aiding money laundering are being investigated. She added that further investigations are underway.