Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Manipal Swindling Case Enters a New Phase; It’s Real Estate

The Manipal swindling case, involving over INR 75 crore. is netting new participants in the case. One Raveendra P, a real estate player, has now been accused of benefitting indirectly from some of the money swindled from the city-based Manipal Group which involved elaborate and convoluted methods to launder the siphoned off funds and escape detection. Raveendra has allegedly taken some of the money, amounting to INR 1.12 crore, siphoned off by the main accused Sandeep Gururaj, the former finance head of the Group, at a rate of interest of 18%. He has now been granted ad interim (temporary) bail in the case. Raveendra is scheduled to appear before the court for a hearing on June 26.

Gururaj used four other associates to launder the funds through Raveendra’s business. The investigation had surmised that the money lent by the four to Raveendra was indeed the money of Sandeep Gururaj. 

He has been involved in a lot of real estate projects, many of them involving questionable means, proved by the numerous cases foisted against him over the properties centred around Jigani, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.  Raveendra, an IT professional with an IT major in Bengaluru, quit his job in 2007 to take to real estate development and construction and hit pay dirt. Raveendra came in touch with Gururaj in 2014 who lent INR 1.12 crore along with three partners in the business at a rate of interest of 18%. 

After the investigation officers analysed the calls and messages between the participants in this instance, they realised the deal was fully funded by Gururaj. 

Raveendra was then arraigned. Raveendra is set to appear for a judicial interrogation instead of a police interrogation. 

It may be recalled, the case blew up when the main accused Sandeep Gururaj, along with his wife Charusmita, his associate Amrita Chengappa and Amrita’s mother Meera Chengappa were arrested on December 27, 2018, for siphoning off about INR 70 crore from Manipal Group’s accounts.

The first anticipatory bail application was in January 2019, and another in April 2019, in the High Court. A lookout circular was issued after the rejection of the third anticipatory bail in June, He has subsequently been proclaimed an offender under CrPC 82.

It may be recalled, a case of misappropriation was registered with the Cubbon Park police station, Bengaluru and the main accused has been in judicial custody from December 2018.

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