ED investigation of Rose Valley group: Kolkata Knight Riders issues statement

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has denied any financial dealings with the controversial Rose Valley Group except when the latter was sponsor of the club’s official jerseys in 2012 and 2013.

KKR issued the clarification after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached Rose Valley’s assets worth over ₹70 crore on Monday. The attached assets include ₹11.87 crore bank deposits of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd, that owns KKR, in connection with a money laundering probe. The franchise said it hoped for the matter to be resolved expeditiously.

“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 ₹11.87 crore as sponsorship fees,” KKR CEO Venky Mysore said in a statement.

“KKR had no other dealings with the Rose Valley Group including Rose Valley’s micro-finance business,” he added.

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The statement added that in July, 2019, Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd (KRSPL), received a “witness summon” from the ED in connection with an investigation relating to the Rose Valley Group, particularly its micro-finance business. “The ED continues the investigation of Rose Valley. KKR continues to cooperate with the authorities in all respects,” Mysore said.

“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,” he asserted.

The directors of KRSPL include Gauri Khan, wife of actor Shah Rukh Khan; Jay Mehta, husband of actor Juhi Chawla; Mysore; and two others. Mysore was questioned in this case by ED’s Kolkata office in October, 2019.

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Apart from KRSPL, the ED attached properties of two other entities — Multiple Resorts Pvt. Ltd. and Kolkata’s St Xavier’s College on Monday. The ED registered an FIR against the Rose Valley group, its chairman Gautam Kundu and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in 2014.

Kundu was arrested by the agency in Kolkata in 2015 and is in judicial custody at present.

The ED has filed multiple charge sheets in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar courts in this connection and total attachments are now worth ₹4,750 crore. The group has been charged by the ED and the CBI with “illegally and fraudulently collecting deposits from public with the intention to cheat them by falsely promising high returns on their investment,” thereby perpetrating a ponzi-like fraud.

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