The Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday arrested businessman, actor and the owner of the Dambulla Viikings of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) Sachiin Joshi, for his alleged involvement in laundering ₹100 crore in the business activities of Omkar Developers, one of the key builders in Mumbai, Hindustan Times reported.
The ED has been questioning Joshi for two consecutive days and he has been charged under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He will be produced in the PMLA court on Monday, the Hindustan Times reported.
Recently, income-tax officials raided Joshi’s house in Mumbai, however, the agency did not reveal the details of its ongoing probe.
The money laundering case against Omkar Group is based on the FIR registered by Aurangabad Police in March 2020 for alleged cheating and criminal breach of trust. The ED has stated that Omkar Realtors and Developers Pvt Ltd and its directors had bought a firm Surana Construction, which had slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) rights for redevelopment of Anand Nagar SRA Cooperative Housing Society, Wadala, Mumbai. Omkar and its promoters did not pay back the due amount to seller and also mortgaged future FSI of the said SRA project and took huge amounts of loans. ED officials state they diverted ₹410 crore taken in loans. Omkar Group’s spokesperson had previously said that the Omkar Group is not in violation of any lending norms and slum approvals. Previously, promoters of Omkar Group – Babulal Varma, 50, and Kamal Kishore Gupta, 62, were arrested on January 27 under the provisions of the PMLA.
Joshi was also in the news for buying fugitive offender Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Villa for ₹73.01 crore. Joshi’s website describes him as “the man behind the Viiking Mission, entrepreneur, businessman, actor, sports enthusiast, franchise and team owner and movie producer”.
Actor and producer Joshi is known for his works in Tollywood and Bollywood. Joshi has done number of films in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. He was also a lead in the 2013 film Jackpot, in which he starred opposite Sunny Leone and Naseeruddin Shah. His most recent film is ‘Amavas’, which he self-financed and co-stars Nagris Fakhri.
In October 2020, the Cyberabad police in Hyderabad had registered a cheating and Trademark Act violation case against Joshi and his father for allegedly running a gutkha manufacturing unit at Gaganpahad on Hyderabad’s outskirts.