Nitin Desai Accused Edelweiss ARC In Voice Recordings before committing suicide

Police To Question Firm’s Officials

Nitin Desai Accused Edelweiss ARC In Voice Recordings before committing suicide

Bollywood Art Director Nitin Desai criticised the loan firm to which he owned the money in one of the 11 audio clips found from his studio after his suicide, police said on August 3. Raigad Police said Edelweiss ARC officials would be questioned after Desai accused them in audio recordings of attempting to take over or usurping his ND Studio.

Desai is heard saying that the method used by the financial services company prevented his company from escaping the financial crisis. It is being said that he had taken a loan of INR 252 crore. He had trouble paying back the loan, and last week a bankruptcy court had admitted an insolvency petition against his company. In the 11 audio clips he left behind, he is accusing the loan firm for the usurp, urging the state government to take over his studio. In the longest audio clip of 20 minutes addressed towards his family, he shared his journey of building the art world.

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In the audio clip accusing the loan firm he accused a few officials of Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) of usurping his ND Studio by pushing him to bankruptcy. In 2016 and 2018 he had taken INR 185 crore through two loans from the loan firm. In January 2020 he started having a financial crisis.

The loan business filed a claim with the Raigad collector and the National business Law Tribunal to seize the 46 acres of land, which made up 90% of his studio. The exact time of when these voice notes were recorded is unclear, as during the wee hours of Wednesday, Desai handed over the recorder to his assistant Yogesh Thakur, but he immediately took it back and asked Yogesh to collect it from his office around 8:30 am on Wednesday.

An official said, “He has identified four to five Edelweiss ARC officials by name and has voiced his displeasure with their methods and concerns about how they operate. He said the corporation pushed him towards bankruptcy rather than assisting him in renegotiating his loan or paying off his debt.” 

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Desai had asked his assistant to transfer the audio recordings in his phone and WhatsApp them to his lawyer and sister. On Tuesday, Desai had taken a tour of all the sets and offered prayers at the temple on August 1 after returning from New Delhi, said Yogesh. "The main studio floor is just over a hundred meters away from the office, so he then instructed me to get the key. Then he instructed me to unlock the door and turn on the lights. There was a ladder nearby with a rope dangling in the middle. Since he had already informed us a few months ago that the rope was there for vastu purposes, I had no reason to suspect anything. Desai examined the rope before departing for bungalow No. 2 and took the key with him," Yogesh said. 

Raigad Police has secured the CCTV footage of the studio and stated that he committed suicide between 4:00 am to 6:00 am as he was seen enetring the premises at 4 in the morning.

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