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New Delhi, February 4, 2020
The CEO of Indian Premiere League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Venky Mysore, clarified on Tuesday that Rose Valley Hotels was one of the sponsors of the team's jerseys for two seasons and the team had no dealings with Rose Valley's micro finance business (ponzi scheme).
KKR's statement came a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached the bank accounts of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd (KRSPL), whose directors are Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's wife Gauri Khan, actress Juhi Chawla's husband Jay Mehta and Mysore.
In a statement, the KKR CEO said, "Rose Valley Hotels was one of KKR's IPL jersey sponsors for IPL seasons 2012 and 2013. Rose Valley had paid KKR an approximate amount of Rs 11.87 crore as sponsorship fees. KKR had no other dealings with the Rose Valley Group including Rose Valley's micro finance business."
KKR is owned by Red Chillies Entertainment and promoted by Shah Rukh Khan. With regard to Mysore being summoned and questioned by the ED last year, the CEO said, "In July 2019, KRSPL received a witness summon from the ED in connection with an investigation relating to the Rose Valley Group, particularly Rose Valley's micro finance business."
"KKR continues to cooperate with the authorities in all respects. As part of the investigative process, sometime in October 2019, the ED placed a lien on the said amount earlier paid by Rose Valley to KKR. KKR expects this matter to be resolved by the ED in an expeditious manner," he added.
On Monday, the financial probe agency attached the properties of various companies and individuals who received funds from the Rose Valley Group. A total of Rs 16.2 crore in bank accounts of Multiple Resorts, St. Xavier's College and KRSPL have been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
St. Xavier's College and KRSPL had received payments from the bank accounts of the Rose Valley Group, the ED said in a statement on Monday.
Besides the bank accounts, the ED also attached 24 acres of land at Ramnagar and Mahishdal in Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal, one acre land at Jyoti Basu Nagar in Kolkata, one flat in Dilkap Chambers in Mumbai and one hotel of the Rose Valley Group.
The ED had registered a money laundering case in 2014 on the basis of an FIR filed by the West Bengal Police and the CBI against the Rose Valley Group of Companies. The Rose Valley ponzi scheme was unearthed in 2013.
The group allegedly floated 27 companies to run various schemes and collected Rs 17,520 crore from depositors in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar. With the recent attachment, the value of properties seized in the Rose Valley Group cases has reached around Rs 4,750 crore.
The ED had also questioned Shah Rukh Khan in 2015 in connection with the alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations in selling around five million KRSPL shares at an undervalued rate to Mehta.
During the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Rose Valley scam, several prominent Trinamool Congress leaders, including Sudip Bandopadhyay (MP) and Tapas Pal (MLA), have been interrogated, arrested and jailed. Bandopadhyay and Pal are out on bail.
The ED has also questioned many Bangla movie personalities, like Rituparna Sengupta and Prosenjit Chatterjee, for acting in films funded by Gautam Kundu, Rose Valley Group promoter and director. Kundu was arrested in March 2015 and is in judicial custody.