ED attaches Rs172 crore assets of Winsome Diamonds


Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday attached assets worth Rs.172 crore of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd, according to a statement put out by the ED on its official page on microblogging website Twitter.

The investigating agency has launched a money laundering probe against the company and is trying to determine the money trail.

“Raids have been conducted in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Surat and Rajasthan. The money trail so far unearthed establishes that funds availed from the banks have been laundered,” said an official familiar with the investigation.

An email sent to Winsome Diamond and Jewellery on Tuesday afternoon did not immediately elicit a response.

Winsome Diamonds owes Rs.4,680.04 crore to a consortium of lenders led by Standard Chartered Bank. Winsome’s associate, Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd, owes another Rs.2,121.82 crore to a consortium of banks led by Punjab National Bank (PNB). The combined dues make it one of the largest wilful defaulter cases in the country.

Other banks which have an exposure to Winsome Diamonds include State Bank of Mauritius Ltd, Export-Import Bank of India, Canara Bank and Axis Bank Ltd.

The ED’s move against Winsome comes against the backdrop of attempts to get tough on wilful defaulters.

The number of wilful defaulters rose to 7,129 as of December 2015, from 6,458 in June that year, according to information available with Credit Information Bureau of India Ltd (Cibil),Mint reported on 12 April.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) defines a wilful defaulter as a person or entities who deliberately defaults on loan payment despite having ability to service the loans with adequate cash flows.