Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mahira Group Scam: Haryana Congress MLA’s Firm Accused of Siphoning Off ₹107 Crore

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unearthed a shocking scam involving Mahira Group from Haryana. This real estate company is controlled by Congress MLA Dharam Singh Chokkar from Haryana. His sons Sikander Singh and Vikas Chhoker are also active members of the management of this company.

ED raids Haryana Cong MLA Chhoker in money laundering case - Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K
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ED’s preliminary investigation shows that approximately ₹107 crore was siphoned off from unsuspecting homebuyers who had invested in the Gurugram, Sector 68 housing project. The agency revealed that the money was used for personal gains and misappropriated through false accounting practices The Congress MLA and his sons did not cooperate with the ED and have remained unavailable for inquiry as of now.

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Mahira Group’s Financial Scam

ED seizes assets in probe against Haryana Congress MLA's real estate firm - The Hindu BusinessLine
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On 31st July 2023, the Enforcement Directorate exposed the misdeeds of the senior management of Mahira Group. The scam came to light when the agency conducted a preliminary investigation based on an FIR registered by the Gurugram Police against Sai Aaina Farms Pvt. Ltd. This company is a subsidiary of Mahira Group in Haryana. The investigation initiated Prevention of Money Laundering Act proceedings against the real estate company, accusing it of cheating and forgery.

M/s Sai Aaina Farms Pvt Ltd. had collected approximately ₹360 crore from 1,497 homebuyers, promising affordable housing in Sector 68, Gurugram. However, the company failed to deliver the promised homes and missed multiple deadlines. The frustration and anger among the homebuyers led to protests and dharnas. Upon investigation, the ED found that Mahira Group’s top management funneled homebuyers’ funds by booking fake construction expenditures in group entities. Later, an amount equivalent to the fabricated expenses was covertly received back from these entities. Fake bills and invoices issued by Mahira Group directors were used to aid these fake transactions.

Moreover, the company’s directors also utilized homebuyers’ funds to finance personal family expenditures. These expenses were falsely accounted for under construction and business expenses within the group.

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ED’s Seizure and Further Investigations

After the initial investigation revealed an enormous fraud, the ED seized all assets of the group during a search operation on 25th July 2023. The seized assets included luxury cars worth ₹4 crores, jewelry worth ₹14.5 lakhs, and ₹4.5 lakhs in cash. The search operation covered 11 locations, including offices and residences of Mahira Group and other related companies. The ED also uncovered documentary evidence of the financial wrongdoings. Thus, the offices and bank accounts of the group were frozen as per law.

Reports state that Congress MLA Dharam Singh Chokkar, a legislature from Samalkha, is Mahira real estate firm’s joint owner and promoter. He and his sons along with key employees remained absent for the search and the following investigations. Reports state that they were uncooperative with the search officials’ requests.

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The Mahira Group scandal has shaken the real estate landscape in Haryana. Its fraud has left many innocent homebuyers in distress. As the ED’s investigation progresses, the scam’s exposure highlights the corrupt practices of political leaders of a certain party. The questions that arise from this scam are:

  1. If such a scam is possible when Congress is out of power, what can their leaders accomplish when they are in power?
  2. Did all the siphoned money go to the personal accounts of the Congress MLA? Did the Congress high command or the party itself get a cut from the scam?
  3. How was the siphoned money spent? Was it only spent on luxurious living or did it sponsor certain political activities in the state?

While the Congress MLA enjoys his luxury at the expense of innocent voters, the BJP government is fighting communal violence in the state. The Liberals and leftists will chant ‘bias of BJP’ and ‘targeting by BJP’ to protect their comrades in this scandal. Moreover, the ‘toolkit’ media will suppress this news and continue to beat war drums against the BJP. Thus, voters must ask whether this scam is just the tip of the iceberg for Congress and its leaders’ corruption. Also, they must wonder if Congress equals Corruption for India. 

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