Highlights : The action comes on a day when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed “malpractices” of “top leadership” among the reasons for the centre’s decision to restructure the management of the bank.

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the Mumbai residence of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor shortly after the finance minister held a press conference on the rescue plan for the lender. She had said that the central bank would investigate the reasons for the bank’s decline.

The searches began late on Friday evening and were underway at press time, said people with knowledge of the matter. Rana Kapoor and his wife Bindhu were also questioned by the ED, they said. They couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The probe is an offshoot of the investigation into a money laundering case concerning Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) promoter Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dhiraj Wadhawan over the alleged purchase of properties belonging to the late drug baron Iqbal Memon. The brothers are out on bail in the case.

“Yes Bank had granted certain loans to DHFL and the probe has found that around the same period hundreds of crores were transferred in the accounts linked to Kapoor’s family members including his wife. PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case is pertaining to the said transactions,” said an official requesting anonymity. “The transaction prima facie looks like a quid pro quo and the investigation on the nature of the said transactions is underway.”

Meanwhile, a lookout circular has been issued against Kapoor and his wife to prevent them from leaving the country. “This is precautionary in nature, just to ensure that they are available during the course of the investigation,” said the official.

The agency plans to contest the bail granted to Kapil Wadhawan in the Bombay high court. The PMLA court, while granting bail, had said that the loans granted by DHFL cannot be linked to the proceeds of crime. “We are going to challenge the same before the HC, bringing to the court’s notice the evidence collected by us,” the official said.

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