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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ED Arrests Ashoka University Founders in ₹1626 Crore Money Laundering Case

In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested two founders of Ashoka University, Vineet Gupta and Pranav Gupta, along with a chartered accountant (CA) from Parabolic Drugs, a pharma company based in Chandigarh. This move comes as part of an ongoing money laundering probe related to a case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the Guptas and their pharma company, accusing them of defrauding a consortium of banks led by the Central Bank of India of ₹1626.74 crore.

The trio, comprising Vineet Gupta, Pranav Gupta, and CA S K Bansal, have been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). These arrests have stirred considerable attention as the Guptas were renowned as co-founders of Ashoka University, but they stepped down from their positions in 2022 following the CBI’s case against them and their pharma company in 2021.

The ED conducted raids at 17 locations across Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Ambala linked to Parabolic Drugs, seeking evidence in the money laundering investigation.

Ashoka University has swiftly responded to the situation, clarifying that Parabolic Drugs has no affiliation with the university. The institution emphasized that Vineet and Pranav Gupta are among over 200 founders and donors of Ashoka University who contributed to the institution’s growth in a personal philanthropic capacity. Ashoka University also stated that the business activities of these individuals have no bearing on the university.

The CBI’s accusations against Parabolic Drugs and its promoters involve securing loans through forgery and channeling the funds for other purposes as part of a criminal conspiracy. The Enforcement Directorate has raised suspicions that the Guptas might have “layered and diverted” approximately ₹7 crore in bank loan funds to the university. It is believed that a portion of the loan funds was transferred to an infrastructure firm in 2013, with the money eventually ending up in Vineet Gupta’s accounts. Subsequently, ₹1 crore was forwarded to the university.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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