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Mantri Developers under ED net

Good morning, Bengaluru!

Wish you a happy 75th Independence Day! Our team will be on leave to celebrate the occasion today. So this newsletter will not be published tomorrow. We will be back on Wednesday.

🌤️ Today’s weather: We’re looking at mostly cloudy skies with minimal chances of rain.

🧐 Did you know? Situated in Domlur, the Chokkanathaswamy Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city, built in the 10th century by the Cholas. The inscriptions in the temple are written in both Kannada and Tamil languages.

💸 Assets of Mantri Developers attached by ED

As a part of its money laundering investigation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached ₹300 crore worth of immovable assets belonging to Mantri Developers.

Story so far: As the ED investigates the prominent real estate group based in Bengaluru, it has initiated action against the company’s director, Sushil P Mantri. After multiple FIRs were filed by homebuyers claiming that the company had “cheated” them, the ED has now uncovered and attached assets worth ₹300 crores under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

  • Subsidiaries of Mantri Developers were accused of misleading homebuyers with deceiving brochures and falsification of delivery timelines.
  • They collected deposits from many prospective homebuyers while diverting that money into other projects.

Criminal misappropriation: The ED stated that the money given by homebuyers in good faith was pooled into other projects, resulting in “criminal misappropriation.” Over ₹300 crores were diverted out of funds thereby committing a money laundering offence under the PMLA, 2002.

🏑 Hockey coach helps underprivileged children

A hockey coaching programme run by the Jude Felix Hockey Academy aids the quest of underprivileged children to play hockey professionally.

Story so far: The Jude Felix Hockey Academy which is situated on the grounds of the St Mary’s Orphanage in Cooke Town has dedicated itself to nurturing hockey players. Although former Indian hockey player Jude Felix is the face of the academy, it is another former hockey player and coach Shanmugham P who is the driving force behind the successful transformation of many underprivileged children into prominent athletes.

  • In 12 years, the academy has developed sports facilities in the orphanage and Maria Niketan school, bringing the sport to nearly 5,000 players.
  • 10 players from the academy have competed at the national level, representing Karnataka in all-India tournaments. One player went on to play in the European Hockey League.

Holistic development: The academy hopes to provide the underprivileged with various life skills through hockey. Apart from imparting training, they aim to instill a sense of discipline, dedication, and teamwork in the players.

🏘️ Industrial and warehousing development

The Silicon Valley of India has witnessed a substantial increase in the demand for industrial and warehousing space.

Story so far: Already a host for numerous e-commerce organizations, Bengaluru has witnessed a surge in demand for industrial and warehousing space. The locational benefits have encouraged the corresponding rise in e-commerce companies setting up in the city, thereby leading to further space requirements.

  • The boom of the e-commerce industry post-Covid has propelled the need for modern facilities and logistics areas. 
  • While third-party logistics (3PL) accounted for 27% of the total warehousing space consumed in the city, 22% was occupied by e-commerce companies as of FY 2021. 

Gateway to South India: Bengaluru holds a significant position in the consumer market owing to the influx of population over the last few decades. Multinational corporations have set up manufacturing hubs in all the prominent cities due to the exponential growth of the Indian economy, leading to increasing demand for warehousing space.

💲 ED freezes ₹370 crores in crypto scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen assets worth ₹370 crores held by Bengaluru-based firm Yellow Tune Technologies Private Limited.

Story so far: After carrying out criminal investigations, the ED has frozen assets in bank balances, payment gateway balances, and crypto balances of Flipvolt Cryptocurrency. Flipvolt is Singapore’s Vauld cryptocurrency exchange’s India-registered entity. The Bengaluru-based firm was allegedly being used by Chinese fintech apps to launder their India revenues.

  • The ED said that the entire ₹370 crores seized was nothing but criminal proceeds gained from predatory lending practices.
  • Although the Chinese people operating the fintech apps left the country in 2020, the bank credentials of dummy directors were used to launder money collected in India.

Loose regulatory control: The relaxed KYC norms, lack of mechanisms to track the source of funds, and no EDD mechanism of Flipvolt Crypto-Exchange made it easy for Chinese nationals to transfer money under the radar, avoiding regular banking channels. The fraudulent money was transferred in the form of crypto assets.

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🗞️ In other news…

  • The KGWA pushes for the registration of old borewells as environmentalists think this can save groundwater. 
  • Bengalureans encourage the use of eco-friendly balloons during Independence Day celebrations.
  • Bengaluru woman appeals to Delhi HC to prevent a friend suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from going on a euthanasia trip to Europe. 
  • Increased security for Independence Day celebrations set to take place at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground
  • Karnataka government pushes to make Bengaluru the new aerospace hub by planning to set up new colleges.

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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