AHMEDABAD: The Enforcement Directorate today attached assets worth Rs 3.72 crore of Surat-based financier Kishore Bhajiawala and his family in connection with its money laundering probe against them.
With this, total attachment of assets in the case now stands at Rs 4.72 crore, the ED said in a statement.
The agency said it has further attached property worth Rs 3.72 crore, in the form of bank balance, fixed deposits, and insurance policies in Bhajiawala case, in a crackdown that came after demonetisation move of the Centre.
Further money trail has revealed that out of Rs 3.82 crore deposited as cash in various bank accounts by the accused, Rs 50 lakh was invested in purchasing LIC policies, the ED said. "Rs 1.59 crore were deposited in fixed deposits and Rs 1.62 crore is available as cash balance in the said bank's account," the agency said. "The remaining amount of Rs 93,370 has been withdrawn by the accused in the form of cash.
Thus, LIC policies, FDs, and cash balance of Rs 1.62 crore were provisionally attached under PMLA," it said. As per the case details, the CBI had filed an FIR against the accused based on the report of the Income Tax, Surat, wherein it was alleged that Bhajiawala family had amassed new high denomination currency notes through impersonation, forgery, and criminal conspiracy.
Accordingly, investigations under the provisions of PMLA was initiated against Kishore Bhajiawala and his sons, Jignesh and Vilas, and others, based on the FIR. Jignesh Bhajiawala was arrested by the ED on January 19 and is currently in judicial custody.
Based on the investigation, proceeds of crime in the form of new high denomination currency amounting to Rs 1.02 crore was seized by the IT department, Surat, on February 21. "During investigation it was revealed that Jignesh has misused banking channel to launder his illicit demonetised currency.
Post demonetisation, the accused fraudulently deposited cash, totally amounting to Rs 3.82 crore, in 67 bank accounts of his family members as well as into various shell accounts of his relatives and employees without their knowledge and consent," the ED said. The agency said that further investigation in the case is underway.