CBI registers DHFL on fake accounts created in PMAY

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a complaint against Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), its developers Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, and unknown officials for siphoning off several thousand crore rupees on behalf of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by setting up fake home loan accounts and claiming an interest subsidy.

The agency alleged that the DHFL, already facing multiple investigations from various agencies, created 260,000 fake mortgage accounts under the PMAY for loans totaling 14,046 crore, which he routed 11,755.75 crore to “several shell companies known as Bandra Book Firms”.

DHFL subsequently requested an interest subsidy of 1,887 crore from the Center on loans disbursed under PMAY.

PMAY, managed by the Ministry of Housing, was launched in October 2015. Loans are provided under the program to economically weaker sections for the purchase of land and construction of houses, housing development under the slum development programs and the purchase of housing from public and private housing companies. The loans are eligible for a credit related interest subsidy, which ranges from 3% to 6.5% per annum.

The maximum loan amount eligible under the program is 24 lakh. The subsidy is payable in advance with a ceiling of 230,156 to 267,280 according to the category in which the borrower belongs. The subsidy is claimed by the financing institutions from the National Housing Bank, which is reimbursed by the Center.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) recorded by CBI on March 15, DHFL was one of the housing finance companies that had been granted loans under the PMAY. The company, during a call with institutional investors, claimed that until December 2018, it had handled 88,651 cases under PMAY for which it had received 539.40 crore interest subsidy and must receive an interest subsidy of 1,347.80 crore from the Indian government, according to CBI.

A forensic audit by Grant Thornton (GT) found that DHFL developers had opened a fictitious Bandra branch of DHFL, where fake home loan accounts of those borrowers, who had paid off their home loans earlier, were created in the database.

“A total of 2.6 lakh fake and fictitious home loan accounts were created in the non-existent Bandra branch between 2007 and 2019 for a total loan amount of 14,046 crore, of which 11,755.79 crore was deposited / piped to several shell companies known as Bandra Book Firms, ”CBI said in the FIR citing the forensic audit report.

The scammed financial company has been under the control of the Reserve Bank of India via an administrator since November 2019, after its multiple irregularities were exposed.

The CBI and the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) filed charges against DHFL promoters last year for Rana Kapoor’s 600 crore bribe after Yes Bank investment 3,700 crore short-term DHFL debentures between April and June 2018.

The agencies claimed that the DHFL never reimbursed the 3700 crore.

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