On the 31st of July, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed that the senior management of Mahira group, which is controlled by Congress’ Haryana MLA Dharam Singh Chokkar, siphoned off around ₹107 crore. The officials added that the money belonged to the homebuyers who had applied to the Gurugram, Sector 68 housing project.
The ED shared details in the case after it conducted a preliminary investigation based on an FIR registered by the Gurugram Police against Sai Aaina Farms Pvt Ltd. The agency had initiated PMLA investigations against the real estate development company controlled by Congress MLA Chokkar for cheating and forgery.
According to the agency, investigations revealed that the said entity siphoned off homebuyers’ money by booking fake construction expenditures in group entities. Cash equivalent to the fake purchases were received back from the entities providing fake bills, and invoices by Mahira Group directors.
The agency added that this was used for personal gains. Several personal family expenditures were also booked as construction and business expenditure in group entities. The directors also diverted home buyers’ money to other group entities as loans outstanding for years for personal gains.
The ED said, “The Directors and Promoters also diverted home buyers’ money to other group entities as loans — which is outstanding for years — for personal gains. Preliminary investigations show that the Directors/ Promoters of Mahira Group siphoned off about Rs 107.5 Crore [fake expenses to the extent of Rs 57 Crore and loans to group entities to the extent of Rs. 50.50 Crore] from M/s Sai Aaina Farms Pvt. Ltd. [belonging to home buyers of Sector 68 housing project] alone.”
ED stated that investigations with respect to the financial transactions of the other four affordable housing projects are still in progress.
The agency stated that M/s Sai Aaina Farms Pvt Ltd. collected about ₹360 crore from 1,497 home buyers under the affordable housing scheme on the promise of providing houses at Sector 68, Gurugram. However, they failed to deliver the houses and missed multiple deadlines.
For a year now, the homebuyers have been staging protests and dharnas, demanding prompt delivery of the promised houses from Mahira Group.
ED seizes assets and cash from the real estate company controlled by Congress MLA
The financial watchdog agency stated that it seized four luxury cars worth ₹4 crores, jewellery worth ₹14.5 lakhs, and cash to the tune of ₹4.5 lakhs during its search operation on 25 July. Back then, the agency raided 11 different locations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. These raids were conducted at Samalkha, Gurugram, and Delhi. The raided locations belonged to M/s Sai Aaina Farms Pvt. Ltd (later renamed as Mahira Infratech Pvt. Ltd) and other group companies of Mahira Group.
The agency asserted that it also seized documentary evidence of embezzlement done by the real estate company. The agency also issued orders to freeze offices and bank accounts of the Mahira group during the search operations.
An ED spokesperson said, “On July 25, the ED had conducted search operations at eleven locations spread over Samalkha, Gurugram, and Delhi belonging to Sai Aaina Farms Pvt Ltd (currently Mahira Infratech Pvt Ltd) and other group companies of Mahira Group owned and controlled by Chhoker, who is a MLA of Samalkha Constituency and family under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”.
Congress MLA from Samalkha, Dharam Singh Chhoker is reportedly the joint ‘owner and promoter’ of the Mahira real estate group. His sons Sikander Singh and Vikas Chhoker are said to be the other joint owners and promoters in this real estate company.
The central probing agency stated that directors and promoters of Mahira Group, along with other key employees, remained absent during the ED search operations. The agency added that they have not cooperated with them in the ongoing investigation.
Previously, on the 17th of March 2021, a joint team of the ED and Income Tax (IT) Department had also raided his offices, residential premises, and other business institutions.