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Cobrapost Expose Claims DHFL Siphoned off Rs 31,000 Crore Public Funds

The investigative news portal alleged that most of the funds were routed through loans and investments into shell companies, some of which are located outside India.
Cobrapost Expose Claims DHFL Siphoned off Rs 31,000 Crore Public Funds

Image for representational use only; Image Courtesy : NewsLaundry

New Delhi: Investgative news portal Cobrapost on Tuesday claimed that Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), a non-banking finance company promoted by the Wadhawans, siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore of public money through shell companies.

At a press conference here, Cobrapost accused the company of siphoning off the money “through grants of loans and advances to shell companies and by using other means”, alleging that the money was routed through “dubious companies parked outside India”, as per a press release quoted by MoneyControl. Some of the countries that have been named are the United Kingdom, Dubai, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.

The expose also alleged that around Rs 21,477 crore of DHFL funds that were put into various shell companies as loans and investments were not declared to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Among those who addressed the press conference along with Cobrapost editor Anirudhha Bahal, were former BJP leader and Minister Yashwant Sinha, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and senior journalists Prem Shankar Jha and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and market analyst Hemindra Hazari.

Cobrapost said it had “uncovered” this scam after “closely analysing documents available with public authorities and information available in public domain.”

According to the MoneyControl report, Cobrapost also alleged the company under-reported donations of around Rs 20 crore to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It claimed that donations of Rs 19.5 crore were given to the BJP between the financial years 2014–15 and 2016–17 by RKW Developers Pvt. Ltd., Skill Realtors Pvt. Ltd. and Darshan Developers Pvt. Ltd., respectively. All these donors are linked to the Wadhawans”, the report said.

It was also alleged that DHFL sanctioned and disbursed loans to companies in Gujarat and Karnataka close to their respective state elections.

“In Gujarat, DHFL had allegedly sanctioned and disbursed a total of ₹1,160 crore to various Gujarat-based companies under multiple schemes and projects. All the said projects are currently and have been on hold from the municipal corporation, and most projects bear the status of having been suspended—which in itself makes all the sanctioned loans bad loans. The loans have been sanctioned against no debt equity and the companies involved have filed no annual returns,” a report by NewsLaundry said citing a Cobrapost story.

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