Firm deposited Rs 110 cr in banks post demonetisation.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized around 146 kg of gold jewellery, worth over Rs 82 crore, following multiple searches at the premises of a Hyderabad-based jeweller and his associates in connection with its investigation pertaining to a post demonetisation money laundering case.
The Central agency in a statement issued here on Thursday said, “Searches were conducted at the showrooms of Musaddilal Jewellers at Hyderabad and Vijaywada, its promoter Kailash Gupta, a company named Balaji Gold and its partner Pavan Agarwal, another company Ashta Laxmi Gold, its proprietor Neel Sunder Tharad and chartered accountant Sanjay Sarda over the last few days”. For tracing the proceeds of crime, simultaneous searches were conducted at the premises of the accused persons which resulted in the seizure of 145.89 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 82.11 crore, said the agency. The ED initiated investigation under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of FIR registered by Telangana Police. “Telangana Police on the basis of complaint filed by Income Tax Department against Kailash Gupta, his sons, their companies for conspiring with certain bullion dealers, chartered accountants by blatantly misusing the scheme of demonetisation by illegally depositing huge amounts of unaccounted demonetised cash in their accounts. For this purpose they fraudulently created around 5200 back dated fabricated advance sale receipts dated Nov. 8, 2016, each for an amount less than Rs 2 lakhs to avoid furnishing PAN details”, alleged the agency in its statement.
During the course of investigation, it was revealed that immediately after announcement of demonetisation scheme the accused had illegally deposited Rs 110.85 crores in their bank accounts falsely claiming that within a few hours they had received advances of less than Rs 2 lac each from more than 5,200 customers, on the night of Nov. 8 2016, for purchase of gold/jewellery from their firms, alleged the agency.
“All these invoices were found to be bogus. Further, analysis of CCTV footages of their offices and that of the neighbourhood revealed that no such activity of purchase of gold was carried out during that period. It is further revealed that those more than 5200 invoices dated Nov. 8, 2016 were fraudulently raised on a later date”, said the agency.
“The accused have admitted that they created fake sale invoices. The accused failed to give any satisfactory account of the source of this illegal cash and also failed to provide details of the accounts regarding the utilisation of about 270 kg of gold purchased out of this money,” the ED alleged. The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the night of November 8, 2016.