ED attaches land worth Rs1,000 crore in US in loan-fraud case

The Ahmedabad unit of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 1,280 acres of land, worth Rs1,000 crore, in California, USA, in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud.

This is the first time ever that the economic intelligence wing of the government, the enforcement directorate (ED), has attached property in the US.

The step was taken in relation to Rs2,200 crore bank loan fraud by Zoom Developers and its promoter Vijay Chaudhary, who is absconding.

The developer had taken loans totalling Rs2,200 crore for carrying out various projects in European countries. However, none of the projects were started and money was siphoned off.

According to reports, this is first such attachment of a property in the US.

One of Zoom's directors, Sharad Kabra, was arrested last month and is in judicial custody. An arrest warrant against Vijay Chaudhary, another director, has also been issued.

The case is considered as one of the biggest bank-loan frauds.

"ED Indore attaches under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) 1280 acres of land in California, USA, of Zoom Developers Pvt Ltd and Vijay Chaudhary in bank fraud case," the central agency tweeted today.

Indore falls under the jurisdiction of ED, Ahmedabad, official said.

ED officials said this was one of the biggest bank loan frauds in the country. After suspecting the role played by some of the banks in granting loans, the CBI had also initiated a separate probe, officials said.

Zoom Developers, promoted by Vijay Chaudhary, operates from Indore and Mumbai.