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ED attaches more assets, worth Rs 177 cr, in NSEL scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday provisionally attached fresh assets valued at over Rs 177 crore in connection with the money laundering case against NSEL.The officials have attached 10 immovable properties of Surender Gupta of PD Agro Processors Pvt Ltd and Dunar Foods Ltd, a major defaulter of NSEL having a market value of Rs 177.33 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.The total worth of attached assets in the case stands at Rs 2,890 crore.The ED officials said the company, P D Agro Processors Pvt Ltd, has fraudulently obtained huge funds from NSEL by trading on the exchange platform against the non-existent/fictitious sale of their commodity, which is paddy/rice. The money trail has revealed that a huge chunk of proceeds of crime has been transferred to M/s Dunar Foods Ltd, a sister concern of PD Agro Processors Pvt Ltd.”The ED, along with the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police, had registered a criminal case in 2013 under the PMLA to probe NSEL and others associated with it for defrauding 13,000 investors to the tune of Rs 5,600 crore.

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2 held for Robert Vadra-linked Bikaner land scam case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) took into custody two persons, one of them with connections to Skylight Hospitality, a company linked to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, in the Bikaner 374 hectare land scam case on Friday. The two persons — Jaiprakash Bagarwa and Ashok Kumar — were arrested from Kolayat in Bikaner late on Thursday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The land scam case was registered in 2015. Confirming the arrests, sources in the ED said Ashok Kumar is a close associate of Mahesh Nagar the authorised representative of Skylight Hospitality that purchased 69.55 hectares of land for Rs 72 lakh.It then sold it for Rs 5.15 crore to Allegeny Finlease, earning massive profits. Bagarwa and Kumar allegedly knew about the fraudulent nature of the land deals. Kumar is also an accused in cases filed by the Rajasthan government.The duo were first taken to the PMLA court where the judge was absent and hence were further referred to a special court.The ED told the court that the two had not been cooperating with the investigators despite being served with several notices. It sought a 10-day remand, but the court granted them eight days’ custody, till December 30.The ED also told the court that the two have the power of attorney of many lands whose ownership is being investigated. Many lands have been transferred several times to many fictitious persons. Many people who have supposedly bought the lands do not have the financial status to do so, the agency informed the court.It also said that in many cases, money had been transferred many months and, in some cases, several years before the transfer of titles.In 2015, the ED registered a case under the PMLA after taking cognizance of an FIR lodged by a local tehsildar on alleged forgery. The agency also attached assets worth Rs 1.18 crore belonging to government employees.The ED had issued notices to the firm associated with Vadra, but had not mentioned Vadra or any company associated with him in the FIR.The Rajasthan government had in January 2015 cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the revenue department claimed to have found fraudulent allotments in the name of illegal persons.The case filed by the Rajasthan government relates to the land across 34 villages of Bikaner that was to be given to persons whose land was acquired for the expansion of Army’s firing range. Instead of the beneficiaries, the land was grabbed by illegal persons through forged documents. This was then purchased by firms linked to Vadra and later sold at huge profit.

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SC junks PMLA tough bail clause

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dealing a blow to the Centre and its fight against black money, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday struck down a Section that imposed stringent provisions for bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.The judgment came on the heels of a batch of petitions.The bench comprised Justices Rohinton Nariman and Sanjay Kisan Kaul. The petitions challenged the validity of Section 45 under the PMLA that essentially said the accused was guilty until proven innocent and where jail was the rule, bail the exception.”It is obvious that the twin conditions set down in Section 45 are a much higher threshold bar,” it said.In fact, the presumption of innocence, which is attached to any person being prosecuted of an offence, is inverted by the conditions specified in Section 45, whereas for grant of ordinary bail the presumption of innocence attaches… Under Section 45, the Court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail,” the judgment read.In the 78-page judgment, which will bring relief to those seeking bail under PMLA in the aftermath of demonetisation, the bench observed: “Section 45 is a drastic provision which turns on its head the presumption of innocence which is fundamental to a person accused of any offence.”The bench observed that the provisions under the now defunct Section 45 must be applied by the state only in compelling cases where it is tackling serious offences like organised crime or terrorism. “Before the application of a section, which makes drastic inroads into the fundamental right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India, we must be doubly sure that such provision furthers a compelling State interest for tackling serious crime.”The court said, “the indiscriminate application of the provisions of Section 45 will certainly violate Article 21 of the Constitution. Provisions akin to Section 45 have only been upheld on the ground that there is a compelling State interest in tackling crimes of an extremely heinous nature.”Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that Section 45 of the said Act imposes two further conditions before grant of bail is manifestly arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of the petitioner’s fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality before law) read with Article 21(right to life) of the Constitution.However, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, defended the provision, suggesting it was an effective tool against the menace of black money.The bench opined that simply reading down section 45 would not be enough, it needed to be struck down.The court then set aside the orders denying bail that relied on the twin conditions and directed the trial courts to revisit the case based on the merits of the file based on new conditions.The top court relied on the US constitution’s eighth amendment on bail jurisprudence to decide the matter at hand.Justice Nariman — who penned the judgment, was inspired by a sharply worded minority judgment of Justice Marshall, with whom Justice Brennan agreed, the minority held that the Bail Reform Act, which permitted pre-trial detention on the ground that the person arrested is likely to commit future crimes would violate substantive due process and the 8th amendment to the US Constitution.The petitions said…The present writ petitions and appeals raise the question of the constitutional validity of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Section 45(1) imposes two conditions for grant of bail where an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule to Act is involved. The conditions are that the public prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose any application for release on bail and the court must be satisfied, where the public prosecutor opposes the application, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence, and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

SC rules stringent bail provision in PMLA unconstitutional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a stringent provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), deeming it unconstitutional. SC bench led by Justice Nariman deemed section 45 of the act as unconstitutional, reports ANI. The Modi government had strongly defended the provision dealing with stringent bail conditions, saying it is an effective tool to curb the menace of black money. According to News 18, the apex court accepted the contention of petitioners that this provision is bad in law, as it adheres to the principle of ‘jail is rule and bail an exception’. In essence, SC has set aside all orders in which bail was denied using the stringent provision and those case have to be heard afresh. Here’s what the section 45 in PMLA is45. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.—(1) 1Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), no person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless—(i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and(ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail: Provided that a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, may be released on bail, if the special court so directs: Provided further that the Special Court shall not take cognizance of any offence punishable under section 4 except upon a complaint in writing made by—(i) the Director; or(ii) any officer of the Central Government or State Government authorised in writing in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or a special order made in this behalf by that Government.28 (1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), or any other provision of this Act, no police officer shall investigate into an offence under this Act unless specifically authorised, by the Central Government by a general or special order, and, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.(2) The limitation on granting of bail specified in 29 *** sub-section (1) is in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.

Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi skips ED summons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi today skipped her scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its money laundering probe in the railway hotels allotment corruption case, officials said.The central probe agency, they said, has now asked her to appear on October 16. Rabri Devi, the wife of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has earlier twice skipped the ED summonses in this case. It was not immediately clear if she furnished any reason for her absence today. The ED had yesterday questioned her son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav for about nine hours in connection with this case. The CBI has also recently recorded the statement of Tejashwi Yadav and Lalu Prasad in this case.The ED had registered a criminal case against the Lalu Prasad family members and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) sometime back. It had earlier questioned a few people in this case including the wife of former UPA minister P C Gupta. The agency had taken cognisance of a CBI FIR in this regard to initiate its own criminal complaint. In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a criminal FIR (first information report) and conducted multiple searches against former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad and others.The ED will investigate the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, officials had said. Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR. The case dates back to the time when Lalu was the railway minister in the UPA government.Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel. The CBI FIR alleges that Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta.The FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.The ED, under the PMLA, has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets and it is expected that the agency will initiate such a move once it makes progress in the case.

Vijay Mallya arrested in London for role in money laundering; released on bail soon after

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Business tycoon Vijay Mallya on Tuesday was arrested in London in for his alleged role in a money laundering case. However, like in April, the liquor baron received bail within minutes of his arrest.Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016.In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.Senior Indian officials described his arrest as the first salvo in the case, which will now involve a legal process in the UK to determine if Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges in Indian courts.India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.
ALSO READ ED files 57-page charge sheet against Vijay Mallya, others in KFA-IDBI PMLAIn July this year, the Ministry of External Affairs (said the process for extradition of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines owner Vijay Mallya is underway. ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the matter with British Prime Minister (Theresa May) during their meeting on the sidelines of G-20,’ Baglay said.’The fact that the Prime Minister raised the matter shows the importance India attaches to the issue,’ he added. In a June hearing at London court, in a major setback to India, the court expressed surprise that New Delhi has not provided evidence to Mallya yet, who is battling a slew of cases in India over his default case involving Rs. 9,000 crore worth loans to a clutch of public sector banks.
ALSO READ Vijay Mallya extradition: Loan defaulter laundered Rs 6000 crore via shell firms; CBI, ED to submit fresh chargesheet in UK courtWhile handing over the request, India had asserted that it has a “legitimate” case against Mallya and maintained that if an extradition request is honoured, it would show British “sensitivity towards our concerns”.In April, he was arrested by Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges. However, three hours after his arrest, various TV channels stated that he had been granted bail In June this year, the Enforcemenr Directorate filed its first charge sheet against Mallya in the IDBI-KFA bank loan case.The 57-page charge sheet or prosecution complaint, with voluminous annexures, was filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special anti-money laundering court in Mumbai.The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case in this deal last year under the PMLA and has attached assets worth over Rs 9,600 crore till now. Officials said the agency has stated in detail in the charge sheet how funds of about Rs 400 crore were moved abroad in alleged violation of rules.It has also mentioned the role of other officials and executives of KFA and IDBI in this deal and has appended their statements recorded by the agency under the PMLA law. The investigations conducted by the ED so far had stated that its probe found that the Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) along with IDBI bank officials “criminally conspired to obtain funds to the tune of Rs 860.92 crore despite weak financials, negative net-worth, non-compliance of corporate credit policy of new client, non-quality collateral security and low credit rating of the borrower, out of which Rs 807.82 crore of principal amount remains unpaid”.The total loan sanctioned and disbursed by IDBI to KFA was Rs 860.92 crore. The ED had said its “money trail analysis revealed that out of the total loan of Rs 860.92 crore, sanctioned and disbursed by IDBI, Rs 423 crore has been remitted out of India.

Aircel-Maxis case: CBI summons Karti Chidamabaram on October 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has summoned Karti Chidamabaram on 4th October in connection with the money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.Earlier, the ED attached assets worth Rs 1.16 crore of former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti and a firm allegedly linked to him in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.The agency issued a provisional attachment order, signed by Joint Director and investigating officer of the 2G spectrum allocation cases Rajeshwar Singh, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attaching the assets.”Enforcement Directorate has attached movable assets held by ASCPL (Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited) in the form of fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 26 lakh and movable assets held by Karti P Chidambaram in the form of fixed deposits and balance in saving bank account to the tune of Rs 90 lakh approximately,” the central probe agency said.The firm ASCPL is allegedly linked to Karti and the ED said it was “controlled” by him through another person, identified as S Bhaskararaman, whom Karti had described to the agency as his Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the agency said.In his reaction, the senior Chidambaram called the ED action “a crazy mixture of falsehoods and conjectures”.”The press note is intended to intimidate me and to silence my voice. I will not be intimidated,” he said.Official sources in the ED said while P Chidambaram states that the “only” charge sheet in the case has been quashed, the FIR still stands and that Karti was not named in that complaint.”This is a fresh probe against Karti in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case,” a source said.The case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by P Chidambaram.The agency said it is investigating “the circumstances of said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister (P Chidambaram)”.The ED also alleged that Karti has “disposed” of a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multi national company “to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013”.It charged that Karti had “also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment” under the PMLA.The CBI has recently told the Supreme Court that Karti was prevented from travelling abroad as he was allegedly closing several of his foreign bank accounts.The hearing in the apex court was in connection with another CBI FIR, lodged on May 15, where it has been alleged that irregularities in FIPB clearance to INX Media had occurred, for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007.The agency said FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March, 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).”In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval.”However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” it alleged.The agency said its probe revealed that the case of the said FDI was “wrongly projected as an investment of Rs 180 crore so that it need not be sent to the CCEA to avoid a detailed scrutiny.”It added that a payment of Rs 26 lakh was made by Aircel Televentures Limited to ASCPL, the firm allegedly linked to Karti, within a few days of the FIPB approval.The agency also charged that a firm promoted by Karti and senior Chidambaram’s nephew A Palaniappan– CMSPL–received a sum of about USD 2 lakh from the Maxis group allegedly for procuring a legal compliance software.It said probe revealed that the “software was designed only for use in India and hence was of no use to a Malaysian company.”The ED said further probe to “identify” other proceeds of crime as well as indirect benefits derived from them is “continuing” in this case.The agency is probing the Aircel-Maxis deal under the PMLA after taking cognisance of a 2011 CBI FIR in the case.With inputs from PTI

Delhi HC: Can BBM be read as an evidence after SC’s verdict on right to privacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to inform it whether the messages sent on Black Berry Messenger (BBM) can be read as evidence after the Supreme Court’s judgement declaring the right to privacy a fundamental right.The court raised the question while hearing a petition by controversial businessman and meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi challenging his recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.According to the ED, Qureshi was arrested on the basis of BBM messages exchanged between him, former CBI chief A P Singh and several persons accused in other criminal cases.A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Nazmi Waziri asked the counsel representing the Centre and the ED, “We would like to know, can we look into these BBM messages after the Supreme Court’s nine-bench privacy judgement?””Whether these private messages would be admissible as evidence. Privacy has been held as integral part of article 21 (life and liberty) of the Constitution. Please examine, as we would like to know it,” the bench asked.It issued notice to the government and ED on the petition and sought their response within five days and listed the matter for September 13.”In view of the submissions of the counsel for the petitioner that he has not been informed of grounds of his detention in terms of constitutional imperative under Article 22, it is necessary to issue notice,” the bench said.During the hearing, advocate R K Handoo, appearing for Qureshi, contended that he was illegally detained by the ED.He claimed Qureshi was arrested after being called for questioning and was not informed about the grounds of arrest.Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, who also appeared for ED, said there was due compliance of constitution mandate regarding informing a person about his arrest.The bench, however, said a person cannot be taken into custody without telling him the grounds and giving him an effective legal aid.”Information is not just to make a person read the grounds of arrest. You have to give him a copy of it,” the bench said and asked the Centre and ED to show the records pertaining to the arrest on September 13.”You cannot deny liberty to someone without grounds. We are afraid that this may take us to dark ages. It is negating the constitutional mandate.”This is our prima facie view, so you have to show us the files. First, courts have to uphold constitutional mandate.There are rights which you cannot take away. That is why we want you to go through the privacy judgement of the Supreme Court,” the bench said.Qureshi was arrested on August 25 and sent to five-day custody of the ED by a trial court the next day for thorough investigation in the case against him and others.The agency had claimed that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees and one of the witnesses has stated that nearly Rs1.75 crore have been exported by the accused from him and his friend in lieu of the help provided to him in a CBI case.”It had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-I.As per ED, Qureshi was arrested late night on August 25 here under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after “he was not cooperating in the probe”.Qureshi has been questioned several times in the past by ED which is probing his role following the registration of two FIRs under the PMLA, it has said, adding that he was arrested in connection with offence alleged in the last FIR in which former CBI chief Singh has also been named.The earlier PMLA case against Qureshi was lodged by the ED in 2015, based on an I-T prosecution complaint, it said.The records collected by the ED from the Income Tax Department in the form of BBM messages, have “revealed that Qureshi has taken huge amount of money from different persons for obtaining undue favours from public servants after exercising his personal influence”, it has said.It added that there were also BBM exchanges between Qureshi and Singh, which are being probed both by the ED and the CBI as part of their separate criminal investigations.In this way, the ED said, Qureshi ” obtained huge amount of money and it was obtained in the name of government servants/political persons holding public offices and the said public servants illegally either obtained the money for themselves or through their kin.”The agency said an analysis of the BBM messages retrieved from mobile phones of Qureshi and his associates revealed that hawala operators were also used to transfer bribe money (belonging to government officials) to foreign locations like Paris and the UK.

Separatist in talks with Pak anti-nationals: ED

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Separatist leader Shabbir Shah is still in contact with anti-national elements residing in Pakistan, in the garb of the Kashmir issue and has received funds to disrupt peace in the Valley, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed a Delhi court on Wednesday while demanding to extend the remand of the Hurriyat leader.”Investigations revealed that Shah received various hawala consignments for disrupting the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir. He is in contact with Tehreek-e-Hurriyat,” the ED said in the court demanding seven days custody of the separatist.Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Pandit, however, extended the remand for one day in a decade-old case of money laundering registered under the Prevention for Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The agency also claimed that Shah, during his statement under PMLA revealed that he is obtaining donations for the Kashmir issue in cash for which he is not filing any returns. The ED said that ‘the records related to the donations received by the accused has to be recovered and confronted with’.Shah was arrested on July 25 and produced in the court where the ED put a plea to extend the custody. However, appearing for the accused, his counsel MS Khan opposed the plea.The plea also said that sleuths of the probe agency should extend the remand stating that they want to know the source of the hawala transfers and ascertain the further dissemination of the funds.Summons were sent to Shah pursuant to a case of August 2005 wherein the Special Cell of Delhi police had arrested alleged Hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani who had claimed that he had passed on Rs2.25 crore to Shah.Following this, the ED had registered a case against both Shah and Wani under relevant sections of PMLA.Earlier the court had remanded Shah to seven days custody following his arrest for continuously failing to appear to the ED summons.

SC asks MCA to take decision on BSP leader Mohammed Iqbal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has given the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) a fortnight to decide whether whether it plans to grant or deny sanctions to prosecute Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mohammed Iqbal.The ex-Member of Legislative Council (MLC) has been accused of laundering money to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore by creating a maze of over hundred shell companies.”We direct the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to take a conscious decision on whether to grant sanction to prosecute (Iqbal) or not within ten days from today,” the court said. The bench also ordered the same reports be made available to the MCA in order to help them in taking a decision to grant or deny the permission to prosecute Iqbal.After perusing status reports submitted under a sealed cover by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that a clear case was made out.The reports were submitted by Rajeshwar Singh, a joint director in the Enforcement Directorate (ED), who appeared before the bench in pursuance of an earlier order. Singh submitted that the agency could not prosecute Iqbal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) unless the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the SFIO registered a case against Iqbal.Appearing for the various probe agencies, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh submitted, according to the reports, 111 shell companies have been used to launder money. The ED could proceed if other agencies lodged the FIR for a substantial offence.PMLA cases deal with proceeds of crime. Before someone can be prosecuted for the proceeds, the crime must be made out, Singh submitted.The apex court, on August 8 2016, had perused the probe reports of the SFIO), the ED and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on a complaint against the BSP Member of Legislative Council (MLC).On the heels of a complaint, the court had then asked the CBI to “look” into the matter. “In that view, we expect the CBI to examine the matter at an appropriate level for such action as may be considered necessary in accordance with the law.”The court was hearing a PIL filed by UP leader Ranvir Singh, who has accused Iqbal of indulging in money laundering. He alleged that the CBI has not taken any action on the complaint.Iqbal though refuted the charges against him and alleged that Ranvir himself had serious criminal cases against him.The former legislative member came under the scanner for allegedly amassing unaccounted wealth to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore after declaring assets worth Rs 6.5 crore in his 2010 election affidavit.The Bench had referred to the probe that revealed that a large number of companies were set up on one address. Reports suggested that Iqbal had set up partnership firms and funds to the tune of Rs 1,374 were being routed from there.Iqbal was suggested as the kingpin of the operation and an initial probe had indicated there was some nexus with the alleged activities of former Uttar Pradesh Minister Babu Singh Khushwaha, an accused in NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) scam, and the companies attached to the MLC.PIL FILEDThe court had heard a PIL by UP leader Ranvir Singh, who has accused Iqbal of indulging in money laundering.
Iqbal refuted the charges against him and alleged that Ranvir himself had serious criminal cases against him

IRCTC hotel license case: ED slaps PMLA case against Lalu and his family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In more trouble for RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family, the ED has registered a money laundering case against them in a corruption case, officials said today, a day after his party was ousted from power in Bihar.The anti-money laundering agency has also issued a notice to his MP daughter Misa Bharti for producing certain documents. Officials said the Enforcement Directorate recently filed a case against Prasad and his family members involving grant of licences to two Patna businessmen for running two hotels of the railways’ PSU IRCTC in return for a prime plot of land in the Bihar capital when RJD supremo was railway minister in the UPA government.The case has been registered under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency, they said, has registered the offence after taking cognizance of a CBI FIR in this regard.Meanwhile, it also issued a notice to Bharti to furnish additional documents to the investigating officer (IO) of the agency who is probing her and her husband’s role in a separate Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case in which they allegedly used shell companies to turn tainted money into white. The ED had questioned Misa and husband Shailesh Kumar in this case early this month and now has widened the probe. In the first week of July, the CBI had registered a criminal FIR and conducted multiple searches against the former Bihar chief minister and others. In this case, too, the Enforcement Directorate will investigate the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, officials said.Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, also a former chief minister, son Tejashwi Yadav, a former deputy chief minister, and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR. Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels) who got the contract for running the two hotels, Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.The CBI FIR alleges that Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, the wife of former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta. Under the PMLA, the ED has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets.

Pak man sentenced to 7 years in jail in money laundering case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani terrorist belonging to banned terror group Al-Badr, was today sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a Bengaluru court in a money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said. The terrorist has been identified as Mohammed Fahad Hai (35) alias Mohammed Koya alias Neduthani and holds a Master of Science degree in analytical chemistry. He hails from the port city of Karachi where his family still lives. His mother is a teacher, a senior official said quoting Hai’s statement given to the central probe agency earlier. This is the first case of conviction and sentencing involving a terrorist under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The probe agency said in a statement that the court of Principal City, Civil and Sessions Judge Basavaraj S Sappannavar “convicted Mohammed Fahad Hai under section 4 of the PMLA and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000”. An amount of Rs 90,470, in the name of Hai, has also been “confiscated” under the PMLA after it was attached by the ED earlier. The case dates to 2006 when the Mysore police, based on inputs that Pak-based terrorists were planning a strike in the city, intercepted two persons on a bike on the night of October 26 that year. The policemen on-duty challenged the duo and sought to frisk them after which the man on the pillion, which was Hai, took out a rifle from a bag and fired at them, the prosecution said. The police team soon overpowered the duo, the other being Mohammed Ali Hussain, a resident of Pakistan. “On enquiry it was revealed that they are active members of the banned Al-Badr organisation and had entered India without valid travel documents and were in the possession of an AK-47 rifle, pistol, live bullets, mobile and satellite phones,” the ED said. The ED subsequently booked a PMLA case against Hai and filed a charge sheet in 2010 after which the case went for trial. The PMLA was enacted in 2002 and implemented from 2005 to check serious crimes of tax evasion, generation of black money and money laundering. The first conviction under the PMLA in the country had come in January this year when a Ranchi court convicted former Jharkhand Minister Hari Narayan Rai and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 5 lakh. In March, a man identified Alauddin was convicted in money laundering case relating to illegal possession of narcotic drugs by a Kolkata court. The stringent anti-money laundering law allows a maximum of seven years of imprisonment and a fine.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

VVIP choppers case: ED arrests woman director of Dubai firm

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman director of two Dubai- based firms was today arrested by the ED in connection with its probe in the Rs 3,600 crore money laundering case, a senior agency official said. The central probe agency identified the woman as Shivani Saxena, director of Ms UHY Saxena and Ms Matrix Holdings. The official said Saxena was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was later produced in a court which sent her to four days of judicial custody. The woman is alleged to have received the “proceeds of crime” in this case, the official said. The Enforcement Directorate had registered a PMLA case in this regard in 2014 and had named 21 people including former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S P Tyagi in its money laundering FIR. On 1 January, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Zakir Naik aide Aamir Gazdaar granted bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday granted bail to Aamir Gazdaar, aide to absconding Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founder Zakir Naik. The relief came after the court found that Gazdaar had made no hawala transaction after the IRF ban. The court held that there is no evidence to prove that accused laundered money through Naik’s Harmony Media Pvt Ltd after November 17, 2016. An FIR against Naik and his firms was registered in the case on November 18, 2016.While arguing for his bail, Gazdaar’s advocate said that the accused was arrested on February 16, 2017, under the PMLA Act in connection the FIR filed against Naik. However, Gazdaar’s name features nowhere in the FIR. “The accused is just an office bearer and he has not committed any serious economic offence.”The court in its order copy said that the allegations of delivering hate speeches are against Naik and not his associates. Also none of his associates are named in the FIR. “Company indulged in acquisition of funds to the tune of Rs 60 lakh. Events can be said to have committed only after the notification issued becomes effective and that Gazdaar has not done any illegal transactions post the date of notification,” it read.Naik is accused of allegedly spreading the feeling of hatred among the Muslim youths across India and thus his custody is very essential for investigation. Apart from a case registered with the NIA, the ED also registered a money laundering case against the accused and his NGO in 2016.

Misa’s husband appears before ED in money laundering case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD MP Misa Bharti’s husband Shailesh Kumar today appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case, officials said. Bharti, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter, had appeared before the central probe agency yesterday and was grilled for about eight hours. Kumar, who was summoned again today after he skipped the first date on Monday, will be confronted with the documents seized by the ED in the case and the statements given by his wife in relation to their finances and business transactions, officials said on the condition of anonymity. The agency is expected to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Kumar, like his wife, will be questioned about his role in a firm, Ms Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited, his other finances and his links with a chartered accountant arrested by the agency earlier in the case, they said. The ED had on July 8 conducted searches at three Delhi farmhouses of Bharti, Kumar and the firm. The raids had come a day after the CBI had raided multiple premises of Prasad and his family in a corruption case probe. The latest summons to Bharti and her husband are related to a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering probe being conducted by the agency against two Delhi-based businessmen brothers, Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain, and others who are alleged to have laundered several crore rupees using over 90 shell companies. The Jain brothers were arrested by the ED earlier under PMLA. One of the firms that the arrested duo dealt with was Ms Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. Bharti and her husband are alleged to have been directors of this firm in the past. According to ED officials, it was detected that 1,20,000 shares of M/s Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited were bought during 2007-08 at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies — M/s Shalini Holdings Limited, M/s Ad- Fin Capital Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, M/s Mani Mala Delhi Properties Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd. These 1,20,000 shares, they said, were allegedly bought back by Bharti at Rs 10 per share. The ED had also arrested Rajesh Agarwal, a chartered accountant allegedly linked to Bharti, who provided accommodation entries (black funds) of about Rs 60 lakh to M/s Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. The searches, officials said, are part of investigations to unravel these links which allegedly routed black money using the shell companies in question. Shell companies are firms set up with nominal paid up capital, high reserves and surplus on account of receipt of high share premium, investment in unlisted companies and no dividend income or high amount of cash-in-hand. The ED is the third agency probing alleged financial irregularities by the Lalu Prasad family after the CBI and the Income Tax department which recently attached benami assets worth about Rs 180 crore (market value) in its investigation against them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DeMo: ED attaches Rs 2.85 cr worth assets of Lodha, Tandon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth over Rs 2.85 crore in its demonetisation money laundering probe case against Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha and Delhi lawyer Rohit Tandon. The central investigation agency said it has issued a provisional order for the attachment of assets against the arrested duo, under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The attached Rs 2,85,73,500 assets, it said, are bank deposits and fixed deposits belonging to the two. The ED took over the probe in the case and registered an FIR under the PMLA after taking cognisance of an FIR filed by Delhi Police’s crime branch after the latter carried out raids on a law firm related to Tandon and recovered cash worth Rs 13.65 crore, with Rs 2.62 crore in new notes. The Delhi Police action came as part of the crackdown of probe agencies to check black money in the wake of the demonetisation of two high value notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 by the government in November last year. The total attachment, under the PMLA, in this case is now Rs 9.70 crore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC dismisses Virbhadra Singh’s plea to quash PMLA case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today refused to quash the money laundering case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife and son. The court dismissed the petitions of Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya Singh and another person Chunni Lal. “The petitions are devoid of substance, consequentially the same are dismissed,” Justice R K Gauba said. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier summoned 83- year-old Singh, his wife and son for questioning in this regard. The ED had in September 2015 lodged the case against the chief minister and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI. The court had earlier reserved the judgement after hearing arguments of the counsel for ED, Singh and others on the petitions. The CBI had filed a charge sheet on March 31, hours after the high court refused to quash the FIR lodged against Singh and his wife in the disproportionate assets case. The high court, which had rubbished the chief minister’s claim that the FIR was the result of a “political vendetta”, had paved the way for criminal proceedings which were stalled due to an October 1, 2015 order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating and filing the charge sheet against the accused. The ED had earlier termed as “premature” Singh’s plea for quashing of the money laundering case proceedings. It had said the plea seeking a stay on the proceedings was “not maintainable” as the inquiry into the matter was at a preliminary stage. The agency is probing allegations against Singh and his family members of having amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union minister of steel. It has also attached assets worth about Rs 14 crore in this case under the PMLA. In July 2016, LIC agent Anand Chauhan was arrested by the ED under provisions of the PMLA as he was allegedly not cooperating with the investigating officer of the case. The probe agency had alleged that Singh, while serving as the Union minister, had invested huge amounts in purchasing LIC policies in his and his family members’ names through Chauhan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PMLA case: Court sends businessman to 14-day judicial custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court here today sent a Delhi- based businessman to a 14-day judicial custody in connection with the note ban money laundering probe involving lawyer Rohit Tandon and others. Metropolitan Magistrate Samiksha Gupta sent Yogesh Mittal, a resident of Model Town area, to Tihar Jail till July 3 after he was produced from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody which expired today. During the in-chamber proceedings, the ED counsel sought a 14-day judicial custody, contending Mittal had “frustrated” the PMLA investigations. “Yogesh Mittal tried to frustrate the PMLA investigations by asking the suspected account holders of Bank of Baroda to run away thereby making a deliberate effort to frustrate the investigations,” the agency submitted. The court remanded him to judicial custody after the agency contended that investigations under PMLA were under progress and it had to unearth the entire conspiracy of money laundering to trace the money trail. Meanwhile, the court allowed the plea of Mittal’s lawyer Sanjay Sharma to let him take his medicines in jail. Earlier, the ED had argued that there were certain “shady accounts found with banks including the Bank of Baroda and the ICICI” in which demonetised currency was deposited and Mittal had to be confronted with someone “crucial”, summoned by the probe agency. The ED had arrested Mittal on June 5 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for his alleged role in the illegal conversion of demonetised currency notes worth Rs 51 crore in “connivance” with lawyer Rohit Tandon, a suspended Kotak Mahindra bank manager and another person who acted as entry operator or illegal fund router. It was alleged that Mittal was “instrumental in picking up Tandon’s demonetised cash on November 14-19 last year and depositing it in various bank accounts of shell companies”. A “conspiracy” was hatched among Mittal, Tandon’s CA, Kamal Jain, ex-bank manager Ashish Kumar, entry operator Raj Kumar Goel and others, the ED had said. It was planned that the “demonetised currency would be collected and deposited in various accounts of firms which have huge cash in hand and from those accounts demand drafts (DDs) in fictitious names would be issued,” it had said. “Later, these DDs would be cancelled to get the money back into the accounts, thus converting the demonetised currency into monetised currency,” the agency had said. Currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 were demonetised by the government on November 8 last year. The ED took over the case and registered an FIR under the PMLA after taking cognisance of a Delhi Police Crime Branch FIR on alleged fake accounts with deposits of Rs 34 crore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Baba Siddique questioned by ED in SRA scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former Congress Member of Legislative Assembly Baba Siddique appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in a Rs 400 crore slum rehabilitation project at Bandra reclamation.The former Maharashtra minister was summoned by the investigating officer (IO) to record his statement in the case and was grilled for over eight hours. The ED had conducted raids on May 31 at about seven locations in connection with SRA scam including Siddique’s premises, a real estate firm and a builder connected to him.So far, the police have questioned more than 25 people in connection with the scam. “We have recorded Siddique’s statement to understand his role in the project and to verify the claims of complainants. Our probe is on and we may call him again for questioning with certain documents,” said an ED officer.Based on a FIR at Bandra police station, the ED had recently registered a criminal case under PMLA against Siddique and 157 others. The Bandra police had registered a FIR in 2014, on directions of a local court, to probe financial irregularities in the slum rehabilitation project in which Siddique is alleged to have been involved. Siddique was the chairman of the Mumbai board of MHADA between 2000-2004.The caseThe case is based on Jamat E Jamuria slum rehabilitation scam near Bandra Reclamation. It was alleged that several slum dwellers forged their document to get rooms in the building constructed.

ED attaches hotels, flats & land worth Rs 50 cr in two bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate today attached pricey hotels, luxury cars like Audi and Jaguar, bungalows and other assets worth over Rs 50 crore over its probe in two separate money laundering cases of alleged defrauding of banks. In the first instance, the central probe agency issued orders for the provisional attachment of a hotel each in Surat and Bharuch, offices in Surat, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Bharuch, flats in Udaipur, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Surat and Thane, expensive cars like Audi Q7 and A4, Jaguar and BMW and bank balances to the tune of Rs 2.77 crore in the name of Ms Siddhi Vinayak Logistic Limited (SVLL). The company is “promoted” by Surat-based businessman Rupchand Baid, arrested by the ED in April this year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for his alleged role in “aiding and laundering of tainted money in the Bank of Maharashtra loan fraud case” to the tune of Rs 836.29 crore. “The investigation revealed that the loan amount of Rs 836.29 crore was disbursed for the purchase of vehicles to various companies on the directions of Baid to the bank authorities for a scheme called ‘Chalak se Malik’ (driver to owner) for drivers by Baid. “After disbursement of the loan to these companies, the loan money was circulated through chain of group associate companies through a series of unsecured loan and fraudulent transactions,” the ED had earlier said while describing the role of Baid in this alleged bank fraud case. The total worth of the attached assets in this case is Rs 19.62 crore, the agency said in a statement. The ED had said Baid is the alleged “mastermind” in this case where money laundering was perpetrated by embezzlement of bank loans which was obtained using forged documents. In the second case where attachment of assets was done under the PMLA law, the agency issued orders for freezing of land properties in Goa, hotel China Town and an office in the market place of Karol Bagh area in Delhi, residential premises at few posh locations of the national capital and some high end cars of businessman Manmohan Singh Sehgal and his son Gagandeep Singh Sehgal, the ED said. The two arw being investigated by the ED in the Rs 6,000 crore Bank of Baroda money laundering case. The father-son duo was arrested by it in March this year. “In the ongoing investigation into fraudulent remittances sent through the front companies having account with BoB, it was revealed that Manmohan Singh Sehgal and his sons have invested huge money in creating assets in order to launder money. “The ED has, therefore, provisionally attached movable and immovable properties having estimated value of Rs 31 crore (approx) belonging to Manmohan Singh Sehgal and his son Gagandeep Singh Sehgal found to be involved in the offence of money laundering,” the agency said. The BoB PMLA case had come to light last year and is being probed both by the ED and the CBI. At least six people have been arrested by the ED in this case till now. The ED had earlier termed this case to be an incident of trade-based money laundering, where accused traders evaded Custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED attaches Rs 21 cr assets of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED has attached assets worth Rs 21 crore of controversial defence consultant and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in connection with a money laundering probe against him. This is the first attachment of assets order issued by the central probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED took cognisance of the new anti- black money act that was notified last year to check the menace and catch hold of those who have stashed illegal funds or properties abroad. The Income Tax Department had booked Bhandari under the new act, called the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. Under this law, cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961, attract a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India for a foreign location sometime ago, under criminal charges of the PMLA law in February. The Delhi Police had also booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Vadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides. The tax department had last year also shared a “seizure memo record” with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these “sensitive” documents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED arrests B. Madan of Vendhar Movies over medical college admission fraud

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested B. Madan of Vendhar Movies on Wednesday under the provision of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) for cheating the public to the tune of Rs 91 crores in the guise of medical seats admissions in SRM Group of Institutions. The ED in Chennai registered a case under PMLA against Madan and others, based on an FIR dated June 4, 2016 of Chennai?s Central Crime Branch for the offence of cheating under the Section 406 and 420 of IPC, 1860. The basic allegation in the said FIR is that Madan has collected several crores of money in the guise of admission into SRM Medical College, and then absconded. About 133 parents have filed complaints against Madan and it is estimated that about Rs. 91crores have been collected by him in the guise of medical college admissions during 2016. Madan had absconded and was finally apprehended by Tamil Nadu Police and was arrested. Presently he is enlarged on bail. During investigation which was conducted under PMLA, statements have been recorded from several victims. Victims has stated that they have paid amounts ranging from Rs.50 lakhs to Rs. 105 lakhs to Madan for admitting their wards into the college but later only they noticed that Madan has cheated them and absconded. Later, college management stated that they had nothing to do with the Madan. Madan in his voluntary statements had initially admitted that he collected about Rs.91 crores from 133 parents for admission in MBBS/PG seats in the college. However, he claimed that he has paid these amounts on weekly basis to the college management. The college management denied that said amounts were never received and claimed that they follow a prescribed procedure for their admissions and Madan has no role in their admission process. It has been ascertained that Madan has acquired several properties during this period. However, he has not revealed the source of funds for purchase of various properties. The details of his properties are being collected. As the investigations revealed that Madan has laundered the proceeds of crime by investing in various properties and thus involved in the offence of Money laundering. Accordingly, he was arrested under the provisions of money laundering and produced before the judicial magistrate. He was remanded to judicial custody and is lodged in central prison in Tamil Nadu?s Puzhal. The further investigations are in progress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Yadav Singh case: Akhilesh govt paid Rs 21 lakh as lawyers fee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Akhilesh Yadav government had paid Rs 21.15 lakh as fee to senior lawyers of the Supreme Court engaged to save suspended Noida Chief Engineer Yadav Singh from facing CBI probe in graft and money laundering cases, according to an RTI response. As per the RTI information provided by Surendra Pal Singh, Special Secretary (Law), four senior lawyers were engaged by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government. Kapil Sibal was given a fee of Rs 8.80 lakh, Harish Salve Rs 5.00 lakh, Rakesh Dwivedi Rs 4.05 lakh and Dinesh Dwivedi Rs 3.30 lakh, taking the total to Rs 21.25 lakh, claimed activist Nutan Thakur citing the response to her RTI plea. Yadav Singh was arrested by the CBI in February last year for allegedly abusing his official position in awarding contracts and causing wrongful loss to the government exchequer. The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 19.92 crore in a money laundering case that involves the former Noida chief engineer. Nutan had filed a PIL in Allahabad High Court in the matter. Its Lucknow bench had directed that the Yadav Singh case be transferred to CBI. The UP government had appealed against this order before the Supreme Court but it was dismissed at the first hearing itself on July 16, 2015. Nutan said it was “alarming” to note that the state government had “wasted” such a huge amount to save a “tainted person” like Yadav Singh and sought recovery of the public money from the pocket of the concerned public authorities. The ED had earlier registered two ECIRs (equivalent to an FIR) under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED cases have been registered on the basis of the FIR filed by the CBI. The CBI last year conducted searches at 12 locations in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad in connection with its probe against Singh over award of contracts related to Noida, Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway authorities. It had also seized files, documents, laptops, iPads and computers. After an Allahabad High Court order, the CBI had registered two cases against Singh and his family members for alleged corruption and amassing assets disproportionate to known sources of income. Singh’s case came to the fore after the Income Tax department first carried out searches against him and others on tax evasion charges. A scrutiny of ITRs and other connecting records reportedly revealed that during the period 2009-14, the total likely savings of the family of the then chief engineer was approximately Rs 1.70 crore, whereas they were in possession of immovable property worth around Rs 3.60 crore, CBI had said. “Besides, approximately Rs 10 crore was allegedly recovered from one of his associates which reportedly belonged to the then chief engineer,” the CBI had said. An attachment of assets order under PMLA is aimed to deprive the accused from taking benefits from their ill-gotten wealth.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After Aircel-Maxis case, ED says don’t want three-legged race

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED chief today batted for allowing the agency to independently register and pursue anti-money laundering cases so that its probe is not impacted even if the courts junk the first FIR by any other agency. The ED is in a “three-legged race” and many courts feel that if the case of the scheduled agency is thrown out, “then the ED case automatically fails”, Enforcement Directorate chief Karnal Singh said and added this should change as the rules of the game are “different” under the PMLA. His remarks comes in the backdrop of the courts recently discharging the Maran brothers (Aircel-Maxis 2G spectrum case) and arms dealer Abhishek Verma in separate CBI cases, based on which the ED had registered criminal cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED can, at present, file a case only on the basis of an FIR by agencies like CBI and cannot take up an anti-money laundering investigation independently. The court had held that as the scheduled offence registered by CBI in Aircel-Maxis case is no more valid, the ED case too becomes “groundless” and that nothing survived in it. The ED has appealed against the order. Calling such developments as “bottle necks” in its effort to curb the menace of black money and corruption, Singh said that the “undertsanding of law sometimes creates problems.” He was delivering the inaugural speech at the Enforcement Day event, where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the chief guest along with Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia. “Our legs are tied with the scheduled agency (CBI in these cases). It is like in sports where we have the three- legged race…our one leg is tied with them (scheduled agency like police or CBI) and many courts feel that the other case fails then the ED case automatically fails. “We have gone (in appeal) to the Supreme Court in such a case for a decision,” the ED Director said. The rules of game are different in predicate offence investigation and the ED investigation, he said. The ED, sources said, wants legal amendments in the PMLA so that it can register criminal cases on its own rather than forming basis of any other agency’s FIR. The ED chief listed some points that differentiate PMLA from other laws. “Whenever there is investigation by police, the statement given before police is not admissible in court while statement given before a directorate (ED) officer is admissible in court. Appreciation of evidence is also different. These issues have to be resolved with the passage of time,” Singh said. Talking about ED’s achievements, the Director said the agency has attached, under PMLA, assets worth over Rs 22,000 crore till now, and half of it has been done in last year alone. A good number of attachments under anti-money laundering laws came as a result of the ED’s probe in black money cases which were registered post demonetisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared demonetisation of two high value currencies of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 denomination on November 8 last year. “The last financial year was full of challenges for ED be it the case of Vijay Mallya, AgustaWestland, bank fraud cases, the demonetisation issues…officers of the agency performed to their best with their diligence and hardwork,” he said. He said the agency filed 76 charge sheets under PMLA last year, while it filed 104 such complaints in the courts this year. “The total cases under trial are 353,” he said adding first two convictions under PMLA were obtained this year. Singh said cases related to bank frauds, corruption and those related to shell companies are a priority for the agency. “Analysis of cases being investigated by ED shows that 27 per cent of total cases are bank frauds or other frauds…and it is the area of concern. The second area of concern, about 20 per cent of the cases, are related to corruption. “If we see how money is laundered then the most important laundering process is by the shell companies which we can say is done by accommodation entry operators,” he said. He also drew an analogy between money laundering and washing clothes at a ‘dhobi ghaat’. “It (money laundering) is like suppose you have to wash your clothes…’dhobi ghaat’ only washes them but who uses the clothes? Somebody else. “If any country is prone to money laundering it becomes like a ‘dhobhi ghat’,” he said. “The people of various countries would come, clean their money and go back and take their money back and we are never benefited out of that,” Singh said. He also urged professionals like Chartered Accountants and others to “desist from doing wrong things”. “We did some searches (against CAs and other professionals)…we arrested one CA. They should have a clear message that they should work for the country and not for the offenders,” the Director said. The ED chief added there are certain other “bottle necks” being faced by it like misunderstanding of legal procedures (by its officials), implementation of law and shortage of manpower. The agency, he said, is in the process of establishing five more cyber labs in addition to the one it has at its headquarters here, so that digital evidence is quickly retrieved and used for investigation purposes. “Our endeavour is to improve professionalism in the ED and I can assure that we will work with utmost sincerity, integrity and professionalism to give results to the country,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED raids CAs for aiding benami transactions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday raided 6 Chartered Accountants (CAs) across Delhi under PMLA in connection with benami transactions of over 200 crore using shell companies allegedly formed by the Jain Brothers. Sources say the CAs were helping Jain Brothers through advice on illegal cash conversions.This is the first action the investigating agency has taken against (CAs) for benami transactions.The ED conducted raids in Dilshad Garden, Laxmi Nagar, Model Town, Azadpur, and Rana Pratap Bagh areas in New Delhi. A senior ED official told DNA that the raids were held to uncover funds that had been stashed to the tune of thousands of crores.Recently the ED had uncovered a racket of shell companies, and later on, arrested two key persons — Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain on March 17, this year. This led to the Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) filing a criminal complaint in the Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, against the Jain Brothers. A case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) was also registered by the ED.ED sources say that the accused CAs have been closely associated with the Jain brothers and had helped them to open these shell companies.”Jain Brothers laundered Rs. 3790 crores for the beneficiaries in the last six years. The investigation revealed that Jain Brothers laundered Rs 561 crores for the 559 beneficiaries in the FY 2009-10 with the help of 56 mediators including Chartered Accountants and Company Secretaries. SFIO has investigated and filed the criminal complaint against the 11 companies controlled and managed by Jain Brothers who have also been used for laundering money for various other beneficiaries,” the ED said in a statement.ED sources also said that they had seized documents which have strong proof of connivance among bankers,CAs, and beneficiaries to exchange of illegal cash via dubious companies or through other accounts.Reacting to the ED’s statement, sources from the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), aregulatory body of CAs, said to DNA, “ICAI council will be meeting on April 20, 2017, where we will take a final decision about the fate of these accused CAs. They could be suspended from the profession for the next few years.”The Disciplinary Directorate of the ICAI has already been seized of the matter and initiated proceedings against such Chartered Accountants.”The matter will be dealt seriously to look into all the violations in these cases as per the Code of Conduct of the Institute. All the necessary action will be taken in accordance with the laws of the land,” ICAI said in a statement.CAs In The Dock6 CAs involved in benami transactions of over Rs 200 crore using shell companies34 Delhi-based CAs on ED radarCA Sunil Agrawal arrested for laundering money of IAS officer Babulal AgrawalOn Feb 9, 2017, DNA has reported that CAs could be jailed for up to seven years if found helping in instigating for or abatement of any benami transaction.

Mumbai court issues arrest warrant against Zakir Naik

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here today issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against controversial Islamic speaker Zakir Naik in a case registered by the Enforcement Directorate. “Issue a non-bailable warrant against Naik,” said judge P R Bhavke of the court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases. Naik’s lawyers Taraq Sayyed and Mubin Solkar argued that as he hadn’t been named as an accused in any case before it, the court did not have the jurisdiction to issue NBW against him. However, ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegaonkar said that as Naik wasn’t ready to respond to the central agency’s summons and hasn’t disclosed his present address, therefore a warrant must be issued. The ED registered a criminal case for money laundering against Naik and others last December after taking cognisance of a complaint registered against him by the National Investigation Agency under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Venegaoankar had earlier said that Naik laid down conditions for appearance and tried to dictate terms to the agency. He demanded time, and once even asked the agency to record his statement through a video link, the lawyer claimed. Under section 15 of the PMLA, a person against whom summons is issued has to appear before the agency in person to record a statement, he said. India has an extradition treaty with the UAE where Naik is residing, and the court has the power to issue the NBW against him under the PMLA, the ED lawyer had said. The agency also produced statements of Aamir Gazdar, arrested employee of Naik’s institute, Islamic Research Foundation, and Naik’s sister to support the claim that he was involved in laundering money in the name of running a charitable organisation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Himachal CM fails to keep ED date; agency issues fresh summons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate today issued fresh summons to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh after he failed to appear before it in connection with a money laundering probe case. The fresh summons require him to be present before the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case here on April 20. Officials said the fresh summons were issued under PMLA provisions after the chief minister failed to keep the scheduled date today. It was not immediately ascertained if Singh had communicated to the ED about the reasons for this absence today. The agency had, earlier this week, issued summons to Singh for personal appearance for today and in order to question him and record his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The latest ED action has come close on the heels of filing of a charge sheet by the CBI against Singh, his wife and others for allegedly amassing assets worth around Rs 10 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income. The agency had summoned Singh earlier also, but then he had excused himself stating his official commitments. The ED has already questioned his wife Pratibha and son Vikramaditya in connection with the case. It had filed a case under the anti-money laundering law against the Himachal Pradesh CM, his family members and others after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by the CBI in this regard in September 2015. The agency is probing allegations against Singh and his family members of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union Minister of Steel. It has also attached assets worth about Rs 14 crore in the case. The CBI charge sheet alleged that the HP CM had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent of his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister. The final report was filed against nine persons for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents. Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife Pratibha Singh, the report also arraigned Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia as accused. It also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who is currently in judicial custody. Chauhan was arrested by the ED on July 9 last year in this money laundering case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Raj land scam: ED raids on biz associates of Vadra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday raided multiple locations in Faridabad in connection with the Bikaner land scam case. The raids at multiple locations included the premises of Congress MLA Lalit Nagar’s brother Mahesh Nagar and his driver Ashok Kumar.They added that the duo was believed to be linked to Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, whose role in the scam is being probed.The investigation relates to the purchase of 275 bighas of land in the Kolayat area of Bikaner by Skylight Hospitality, the company which is linked to all the other companies owned by Vadra, and are currently under the ED’s scanner.Reacting to the ED raid, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “Today’s raid has nothing to do with Vadra. For the past four years, the Rajasthan and Haryana governments have been trying to find irregularities and they have found nothing.”Surjewala added that officials of Vadra’s companies had visited the ED numerous times and supplied them with whatever documents required. “So far they have not been able to find anything against Vadra or his company or associates. As part of a vendetta and witch-hunt, the BJP government proceeded to refer the matter to the ED,” he claimed.However, senior ED officials involved in the probe say Vadra’s companies used to collect information from then state government officials about upcoming projects on low cost-land. They added that through this information, they used to buy the land, before the public announcement of these projects, at a very low price. Later, when the projects would be announced, they would sell the land at huge profit.In all this, sources reveal, Mahesh Nagar was alleged to be the go-between and Vadra’s companies were said to have given him the power of attorney for various land deals.ED sources also said that between June 2009 and June 2010, 60 land deals were said to have been struck in Kolayat, all through Mahesh Nagar. Nagar had allegedly struck deals for Vadra’s companies, which included Blue Breeze, Skylight Hospitality, North India IT Parks and Real Earth.On March 31 this year, the ED issued a Provisional Attachment Order under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA) attaching assets worth Rs 1.18 crore in connection with a land scam in Kolayat town in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.These assets belonged to Jai Prakash Bagarwa and Rajasthan government officials, identified as Uma Charan Sharma, Fakir Mohammad and Mahaveer Swami, all of whom were alleged to have colluded with Vadra’s companies. From the I-T department, a notice had also been sent to Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality seeking details of its financial and land deals.Last year, the ED had also issued notices to a firm said to be linked to Vadra. However, the FIR did not mention the name of Vadra or any company linked to him under the PMLA. In the FIR, ED has named “some Rajasthan government officials” and the “land mafia.”In December last year, the Congress had termed the ED probe into Vadra’s controversial land deals as a “vendetta and witch-hunt.” Surjewala had then said that officials of Skylight Hospitality have supplied the ED with whatever documents that were required. He added that nothing had been found against Vadra.MODUS OPERANDIThe companies allegedly had inside information about upcoming projects in low-cost barren land.
By using this information, they used to buy land at very low costs and before the public announcement of the projects were made.
Later, with the announcement of the project, they used to sell these land, making huge profits. In all deals, Mahesh Nagar was the key agent.
In 2009, before a solar power project was announced in Kolayat, Sky Light Realty started buying wasteland near the sub-stations.

ED moves PMLA court seeking non-bailable warrant against Zakir Naik

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Tightening the noose on Zakir Naik, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday approached a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)?court asking issuance of non-bailable warrant against the controversial televangelist. The move comes in the wake of Naik failing to appear before the agency despite being issued four summons. The Enforcement Directorate had last month provisionally attached properties of Naik-led IRF worth Rs. 18.37 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in the form of mutual fund, real estate properties and bank balances. Earlier in November last year, the Enforcement Directorate had registered money laundering case against the IRF on the basis of FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It was alleged that Naik and his associates are indulging in unlawful activities. It was also alleged that Naik promotes enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through his provocative utterances. During the PMLA investigation, Naik avoided all four summons issued to him. The IRF, headed by Naik, moved a petition last year seeking directions against the ban imposed on it by the Central Government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC issues contempt notice to hospital Dean on Bhujbal’s

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court issued today a notice to T P Lahane, Dean of the state-run J J Hospital, on a contempt of court matter referred to it by a lower court for allowing the jailed NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal to overstay at a private hospital. A division bench headed by Justice Ranjit More issued the notice and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks. The judge of a special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, which is hearing a case filed against Bhujbal by the Enforcement Directorate, had referred the matter to the high court. The PMLA court found Lahane guilty of contempt of court, and referred it to the HC for further action as required by the law. Activist Anjali Damania had approached the PMLA court in December 2016, contending that Bhujbal had been staying at the private-run Bombay Hospital since November 2 for no reason. She blamed “negligence of duty” by the authorities of J J Hospital and the Arthur Road jail, where he was lodged before the hospitalisation, for this. Bhujbal, initially admitted to J J Hospital here, had checked into Bombay Hospital for a thallium scan. Damania alleged that he was misusing a court order. The PMLA court had on December 14 ordered that Bhujbal, a former PWD Minister, be shifted back to Arthur Road jail. Bhujbal was arrested by the ED in March 2016 on the charges of bribery and money laundering in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan, the state guest house in Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PMLA drugs case: Court sentences man to 8 years RI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here today sentenced a man to eight years of rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on money laundering charges related to illegal possession of narcotic drugs. “This is the second case in India where conviction has been secured under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the first such case under NDPS (predicate offence). Further, this is the highest sentence awarded under PMLA till date,” the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement. The PMLA came into force about 12 years ago in 2005. The special CBI court, hearing cases of the ED too, had convicted Allauddin SK alias Helu yesterday, and today pronounced the sentence of 8 years RI and a fine of Rs 2 lakh against him. While a maximum of seven years of imprisonment is allowed under PMLA laws, the court sentenced Allauddin to eight years as the predicate offence was registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Helu had earlier been held guilty under NDPS laws in 2014, the agency said. The case pertains to 2011 when the ED registered an FIR to probe money laundering charges against Allauddin. The central probe agency took up the case to probe the proceeds of crime of money laundering. “NCB had seized 3.950-kg of opium from his possession and had also seized 25.450-kg of opium and 550-kg of poppy husk from his residence and he was booked under NDPS, 1985. Investigation done by NCB revealed he was a habitual offender and he had traded in opium on regular basis,” it said. The ED had last year filed a charge sheet in this case before the said court and had also attached Allauddin’s assets (about 152 decimals of land) worth about Rs 30 lakh. While the deed value of the said land was Rs 3 lakh, its market value is Rs 30 lakh, they said. The first money laundering conviction in the country had only come in January this year when a Ranchi court convicted former Jharkhand Minister Hari Narayan Rai and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 5 lakh. The PMLA was enacted in 2002 and implemented from 2005 in order to check serious crimes of tax evasion and generation of black money.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED attaches Rs 1.02 crore in Kishore Bhajiawala post demonetization frauds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Enforcement Directorate on Thursday attached an amount of Rs.1,02,16,000 in case of Kishore Bhajiawala involved in post demonetization frauds. The CBI, ACB, Gandhinagar has filed a FIR against the accused based on the report of Income Tax (Investigation), Surat wherein it was alleged that Bhajiawala family had amassed new high denomination currency notes through impersonation, forgery and criminal conspiracy. Accordingly, investigation under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 was initiated against Kishore Bhajiawala and his sons Jignesh Bhajiawala and Vilas Bhajiawala and others by Directorate of Enforcement based on the said FIR registered by CBI, Gandhinagar. Jignesh Bhajiawala and Shri Vilas Bhajiawala used modus operandi of forging thousands of Exchange forms in names of various persons assisted by various bank officials and obtained the proceeds of crime in the form of new high denomination currency, amounting to Rs.1,02,16,000, post demonetization. The same was seized by the Income Tax Authorities. Jignesh Bhajiawala was arrested by ED on January 19, 2017 and he is presently in judicial custody. The said proceeds of crime amounting to Rs.1,02,16,000, has now been provisionally attached under PMLA on February 21, 2017 with further investigations under progress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED arrests Zakir Naik’s aide for money laundering

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aamir Gazdar, a close aide of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, was on Thursday arrested by ED in connection with its probe in a money laundering case against him and others.Officials said Gazdar, director in certain firms under scanner in this case, was arrested late Thursday evening by the Enforcement Directorate under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). “Gazdar, a close confidante of Naik, was put under arrest around 7:30 pm today. He will be produced in a court tomorrow for further custody,” an official said.Gazdar (50), officials said, was called for questioning at the ED’s office in Mumbai and was arrested as he was allegedly “not cooperating” with the investigators.Officials claimed the agency suspects that Gazdar allegedly handled cash funds and transactions worth Rs 200 crore on behalf of Naik and his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).They added Gazdar’s firm used to reportedly provide content for IRF’s Peace TV, and its operations were handled from the western metropolis in Mumbai.ED, for quite sometime now, has been summoning representatives of IRF and those related or associated to Naik in connection with its PMLA case and Gazdar was being questioned in the same context, they said.The central probe agency had registered a criminal case against Naik and others last December after taking cognisance of an NIA complaint under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It has also summoned Naik but he is still to depose before the agency as he is reported to be abroad.ED is looking into the charges of alleged illegal funds laundered by the accused in the case and the subsequent proceeds of crime thus generated.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier registered a case against 51-year-old Naik under anti-terror laws for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups.NIA along with Mumbai police had also carried out searches at 10 places in the megapolis, including residential premises of some of the office bearers of the foundation, which was earlier put on restricted list by the Union Home Ministry for receiving funds from abroad.Naik, who is said to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after some perpetrators of the Dhaka terror strike last year claimed they were inspired by him, has been booked along with unnamed IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) beside various sections of UAPA.

Noida ponzi scam case: ED to take custody of accused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Widening its probe, the ED will soon seek custody of the arrested accused in the alleged Rs 3,700 crore ponzi scam case perpetrated by seeking fake social media ‘likes’ from lakhs of gullible investors by a Noida-based firm. Officials said a competent court has issued production warrant and has asked the jail superintendent to produce before it the three arrrested accused on February 18. They said the agency wants to question the accused, owner of the company Anubhav Mittal, its CEO Sridhar and technical head Mahesh and record their statements under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as part of the probe. ED, on January 5, had conducted raids on the business and residential premises of the owners of the said firm and others in Noida, Ghaziabad and Kanpur. Its zonal office here had registered a criminal case under the PMLA based on an FIR of the UP police’s Special Task Force (STF) which had first unearthed the alleged illegal ponzi or multi-level marketing scam. The central probe agency had said the fraudsters allegedly cheated about 6.5 lakh gullible investors of an estimated Rs 3,700 crore, a fraud many more times in value than the infamous Saradha chit fund scam of West Bengal and Assam which is pegged at Rs 2,500 crore. While the UP STF had arrested the three on February 2, it apprehended the fourth accused, a private bank manager, last week in this case. The ED had said the accused also “promoted four systematic investment plans offering various incentives depending upon the investment made by the user.” The agency is soon expected to prepare documents and attach the assets of the accused and the firm under PMLA laws to protect the interest of the investors who were allegedly cheated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Note ban: ED attaches Rs 41.65 cr assets of Delhi lawyer, bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED today attached assets worth Rs 41.65 crore, deposited as bank demand drafts, as part of its money laundering probe registered post-demonetisation against Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon and suspended Kotak Bank branch manager Ashish Kumar. The agency issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), terming the money in the form of demand drafts (DDs) as the “proceeds of crime” of the illegal exchange of old notes of Rs 500 and 1000 by the accused. The agency said it issued the orders attaching multiple DDs in the name and “attributed” to Tandon and Kumar, which were kept frozen in the custody of the Income Tax department. The I-T department too is probing this case for charges of alleged black money generation and tax evasion. Both Tandon and Kumar, along with an alleged entry operator R K Goel, were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in this case last year and they are at present in judicial custody. The ED alleged the accused “conspired so that demonetised currency would be collected and deposited in various accounts of the firms (fake) which have huge cash in hand and from those accounts demand drafts in fictitious names would be issued. “Later these DDs would be cancelled to get the money back into the accounts thus converting the demonetised currency into the monetised currency,” it said. It added DDs were issued in “fictitious names like Abhilasha Dubey, Dinesh Kumar, Madan Kumar, Madan Saini, Satya Narayan Dagdi, Seema Bai and Sunil Kumar, in active connivance of bank manager Kumar in lieu of huge commission amount in tune of 35 per cent of net converted currency which was also paid in advance to him.” “During the course of investigation it was revealed that huge cash supplied by Tandon was deposited in various bank accounts of firms owned/handled by Goel during the period November 15-19 last year post the announcement of the demonetisation. “Some part of this demonetised currency was also routed through RTGS from other bank accounts of Goel,” the agency said. ED took on the case and registered an FIR under PMLA laws after taking cognisance of Delhi Police’s crime branch FIR in the said case of nine alleged fake accounts detected with deposits worth Rs 34 crore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED slaps money laundering case against def consultant Bhandari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After initiating investigation under forex rules against controversial defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now slapped criminal charges of money laundering against him. The fresh trouble for Bhandari comes amidst reports that he has left the country after Delhi Police booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. ED officials said the agency has booked Bhandari and some of his associates under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking congnisance of the FIR filed at the Parliament Street police station. Delhi Police has tasked its crime branch to probe the case. The Enforcement Directorate, the officials said, will soon issue summons to Bhandari to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of the case. However, it is reported that the defence consultant has left the country and has not replied to the Delhi Police summons till now. The ED had, last year, also issued summons to him and his aides to submit documents related to the transactions of their firms as part of its probe into the case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). While proceedings under FEMA are civil in nature, the ED has now decided to proceed against him under the stringent and criminal PMLA. The agency’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, has taken note of the preliminary investigations done by the Ministry of Defence and the Income Tax Department against Bhandari, as per information accessed by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED attaches Rs 2.77cr assets of former IAS and CPT Chairman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ED has attached assets worth Rs 2.77 crore, including Rs 29 lakh in bank deposits, of a retired IAS officer and Chennai Port Trust Chairman in connection with its money laundering probe against him and others, that emerged from an earlier disproportionate assets case against him. The agency’s zonal office here today said it has issued orders, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), to provisionally attach three immovable assets worth Rs 2.48 crore and bank deposits to the tune of Rs 29 lakh of K Suresh, a retired 1982-batch IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had slapped money laundering charges against Suresh and others based on a CBI FIR and charge sheet against him on charges of possessing alleged disproportionate assets. The CBI had filed a criminal complaint against him and raided his premises here in 2009. The case pertains to CBI probe findings that Suresh, while working as the Zonal Manager of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust (CPT) here “during September 2003-August 2009 acquired and was in possession of movable and immovable assets and pecuniary resources in his name and in the name of his wife which were disproportionate to an extent of about Rs 2.79 crore to their known sources of income, which works out to 450 per cent of his known sources of income during the check period.” ED said its PMLA probe found that the “proceeds of crime derived by Suresh…were laundered with the help of a real estate agent from Rajapalayam, a family friend and through the various accounts operated by the proprietor of a real estate firm, who operates his accounts in the names of various shell companies with a Chennai bank.” “He (Owner of real estate firm) utilised the same for the purchase of an immovable property at Kottivakkam in the name of the wife of Suresh and the same is being projected as untainted property by him,” ED said in a statement. The agency added Suresh had “acquired another immovable property at Kodaikanal by laundering proceeds of crime committed by him with the help a family friend and a gold and diamond mining businessman in Africa. “The Kodaikanal property was purchased in the name of the brother-in-law of the associate who acted as a benami for Suresh,” it said. An attachment under PMLA is aimed to deprive the accused from obtaining benefits of his ill-gotten wealth and such an order can be appealed before the Adjudicating Authority of the said Act within 180 days. A special CBI court here, in November last year, had convicted and sentenced Suresh to two years rigorous imprisonment in the case filed by the central anti-corruption probe agency.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jignesh Bhajiawala moves Guj HC to quash ED investigation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surat-based businessman Jignesh Bhajiawala, arrested by Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, has moved the Gujarat High Court seeking quashing of the ongoing investigation against him, his father and brother, claiming it is beyond the jurisdiction of ED. Along with the quashing of investigation, Jignesh also sought bail on the ground that the ED went ahead with its investigation against him without acquiring “authorisation letter” from the central government as mandated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). After admitting his plea, Justice J B Pardiwala issued notices to the ED, the Centre and the Gujarat government and kept the further hearing on February 15. ED had arrested Jignesh on January 20 from Surat. He is in jail after a local PMLA court sent him to judicial custody upon the completion of his 5-day remand period on January 25. In his application, moved through advocate Chetan Pandya, Jignesh claimed the ongoing investigation against him, his father Kishor Bhajiawala and brother Vilas, is illegal and beyond the jurisdiction ED, as the officials have not acquired the authorisation letter from the Centre. The plea stated that as per the provisions of PMLA, ED officials need to acquire such approval from the Centre before starting their probe to collect evidences related to the alleged crime. Apart from quashing the investigation, Jignesh also sought bail on the ground that ED does not have any approval to go ahead with the investigation. Last December, ED lodged a case of money laundering against Surat-based financier Kishor Bhajiawala and two of his sons Jignesh and Vilas in connection with the recovery of Rs 1.02 crore in new currency. ED had initiated an inquiry against Bhajiawala and sons after the Income Tax department seized new currency notes of Rs 1.02 crore from them post demonetisation, prompting CBI to register a separate complaint against the trio.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Virbhadra PMLA case: Court fixes Feb 8 for scrutiny of docs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court has fixed February 8 for scrutiny of documents in a money laundering case involving Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in which LIC agent Anand Chauhan has been chargesheeted. “Advocate for the accused seeks one more adjournment for scrutinising the documents. Request allowed. Put up the matter for further scrutiny of the documents on February 8, 2017,” Special Judge Vinod Kumar said. The court had on September 7 last year taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Chauhan,, while asking the Enforcement Directorate to provide him a copy of the final report and other documents. The charge sheet was filed for offences under sections 3 (money-laundering) and 4 (punishment for the offence) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Act. Chauhan was arrested from Chandigarh on July 9 last year under the provisions of PMLA on the grounds that he was allegedly not cooperating with the probe.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First money laundering conviction: Ex minister sentenced to 7

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jharkhand Minister Hari Narayan Rai has been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a special court here, making it the first case of conviction under anti-money laundering laws in the country since the PMLA Act was first enforced about 12 years ago. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Rai. The instance pertains to the money laundering case involving former state Chief Minister Madhu Koda. The case was unearthed by the Enforcement Directorate in September 2009 in which a number of arrests were made and assets worth hundreds of crores were attached. Rai, the former Tourism, Urban Development and Forests Minister in the Koda cabinet, was convicted by the special court yesterday for laundering funds to the tune of over Rs 3.72 crore. “Rai has been pronounced guilty under section 3, read with section 4, of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and has been sentenced to 7 years RI, the maximum under the said Act and has been additionally fined Rs 5 lakh.The court found him guilty to launder the proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 3,72,54,016,” the agency said. A senior official added, “This is a historic judgement as this becomes the first conviction under the PMLA in the country which was enacted in 2002 and implemented from 2005 in order to check and curb black money and grave financial crimes.” The ED had taken over this case in September, 2009 after taking cognisance of Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau’s FIRs in the case and had filed three charge sheets in the case since then.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Notes ban: ED arrests Surat-based Kishore Bhajiawala under PMLA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED said it has arrested city-based financer Kishore Bhajiawala on money laundering charges and for allegedly using 1,000 fake IDs to illegally convert Rs 1 crore in old notes into new post demonetization.The agency said it has placed “Jignesh Kishorebhai Bhajiawala (41) under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at about 11:45 pm last night” at is sub-zonal office here. He will produced in court today.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a criminal FIR against Bhajiawala and some of his family members based on a CBI FIR against him, which was booked after the Income Tax department first conducted searches and seized gold and cash from his premises as part of their operation in December last year to check black money post the notes ban.The case had gained prominence after investigating agencies detected the proverbial rags-to-riches ascent of the ‘chaiwala’-turned-financier based in the diamond city of Gujarat.”The Bhajiawala family has converted a huge amount of their unaccounted money, post demonetization, into new high denomination currency and other valuables through collusion with bank officials and private persons by impersonating, forgery and by using forged documents.”An amount of over Rs 1.02 crore in new currency was seized by the I-T department from his premises during searches at his home, shop and bank lockers held by them. It was also found that the accused had hired several bank lockers in benami names to stash their unaccounted assets,” the ED alleged.

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