DHFL lenders to probe gangster links
The forensic audit conducted by KPMG has revealed alleged routing of at least Rs 20,000 crore by DHFL to several shell companies. But it did not specifically look into any links with Mirchi and Dawood.
The forensic audit conducted by KPMG has revealed alleged routing of at least Rs 20,000 crore by DHFL to several shell companies. But it did not specifically look into any links with Mirchi and Dawood. “Now that allegations of DHFL’s links to the underworld have surfaced, there is no other alternative but to investigate these transactions and widen the scope of the forensic audit,” said an official involved in the discussions.
DHFL and State Bank of India, which has the largest exposure to the mortgage lender, did not respond to ET emails seeking comment until press time Wednesday. KPMG declined to comment.
The Enforcement Directorate is probing DHFL’s alleged links with Sunblink Real Estate, through which money was allegedly laundered and routed to Dubai at the behest of Mirchi. DHFL chairman Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj were recently questioned by the ED over Rs 2,186 crore loans given by the mortgage lender to the realty firm.
ET had earlier reported that while the ED had not named DHFL as the NBFC in question, Sunblink’s accounts for 2010 indicated that it had received ?22 crore as loans from the Mumbai-based firm during the year.
The latest round of allegations against DHFL may also put the resolution plan for the company under jeopardy and lead to the account becoming a non-performing asset, as bankers are a worried lot and don’t want to sign on the dotted line as the company is under a multi-agency probe.
“Every day brings with it fresh rounds of accusations which are levelled against DHFL promoters. How can bankers take a material decision on restructuring the loan when there are issues related to alleged siphoning funds by promoters?” asked an official.
A draft KPMG forensic audit report had showed DHFL disbursed loans and advances to inter-connected entities that appeared to be linked to its promoters. It also claimed that about 25 group companies to which DHFL had lent a total of Rs 14,000 crore had an average profit of about Rs 1 lakh, raising doubts that the management might have siphoned off funds.
Union Bank of India appointed KPMG to carry out a special review of DHFL for April 2015 to March 2019. The company had total loans and advances of Rs 97,977 crore at March-end. Financial lenders are working on a resolution plan submitted by DHFL that involves converting debt into equity. While banks and NBFCs have signed the proposed resolution, some mutual funds have stayed away.