Lodha, a real-estate baron, ran a full-fledged hawala racket across the country and after demonetisation, he came under the scanner of the IT Department.?(Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )
Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) from Mumbai airport on Thursday morning for converting over 25 crore old currency into new.
“ED arrests Paras Mal Lodha. Involved in conversion of more than Rs 25 Crores of old notes to new notes in Shekhar Reddy and Rohit Tandon cases,” said a statement issued by the Enforcement Directorate.
Lodha was arrested on Thursday morning from Mumbai airport, while he was attempting to flee the country. He was arrested in connection with the Karnataka-based business Shekhar Reddy and Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon cases.
Sources in ED reveal, that Lodha besides being a real-estate baron, he ran a full-fledged hawala racket across the country and after demonetisation, he came under the scanner of the IT Department.
Later, he was taken to Delhi, where ED produced him before a court and was remanded to seven-day ED custody.
Lodha is the current director of Peerless Chairman and Managing Director. It is registered under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In 1991, he took over the Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited. Peerless is India’s largest non-banking financial institution. He had ‘reportedly’ threatened the then Peerless Chairman and Managing Director PC Sen and even hired ‘contract killers’ to get maximum stake in the company for decision making, but was unsuccessful. He was later summoned by Kolkata Police in the same year, but let off after questioning.
His name came to fore in 2010, when a major fire in Kolkata’s Stephen Court building claimed as many as 40 lives. He was reportedly accused of constructing two floors in the building illegally.
Lodha’s younger daughter’s wedding in 2014 made it to the headlines, when it was attended by top stars, bureaucrats and politicians.