Enforcement Directorate files chargesheet against Surat-based financier Jignesh Kishore Bhajiawala under PMLA

The chargesheet was filed on Thursday before the court of Principal and Session Judge, Ahmedabad (Rural) under section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Published: 17th March 2017 07:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2017 07:10 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against Surat-based financier Jignesh Kishore Bhajiawala under charges money laundering for illegally converting scrapped currency notes into new ones post-demonetisation.

The chargesheet was filed on Thursday before the court of Principal and Session Judge, Ahmedabad (Rural) under section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Earlier, the CBI, Gandhinagar had filed an FIR against the Bhajiawala 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 this Directorate of Enforcement based on the said FIR registered by CBI, Gandhinagar. 

“Investigations have revealed that Shri Jignesh Kishorebhai Bhajiawala converted a huge amount of his unaccounted money, post demonetization scheme (announced on 08.11.2016) into new high denomination currency through collusion with bank officials of private and public sector banks and private persons by impersonation and by using forged documents,” the ED said in a statement.

Bhajiawala, in collusion with Pankaj Bhatt, the then Senior Manager, Surat Peoples Co-Operative Bank Ltd., Udhna branch, Surat managed to procure 1109 ID’s( Identity Proof documents) from records of said Bank and using the same, the accused Bhajiawala filled thousands of Annexure 5 forms (Exchange forms prescribed by RBI for exchange of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000) and these Exchange forms were used by him to exchange his demonetized currency of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 in collusion with Bank officials.

Bhajiawala was arrested by ED on January 19 is presently undergoing judicial custody.

Based on the investigation, proceeds of crime in the form of New High Denomination currency amounting to Rs.1,02,16,000, earlier seized by Income tax (Investigation.Wing), Surat, were provisionally attached on February 21. 

“Jignesh Bhajiawala has acquired and possessed the proceeds of crime and committed an offence of money laundering in terms of section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, punishable under section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Accordingly, a prosecution complaint on 16.03.2017 against Shri Jignesh Kishore Bhajiawala under section before the Court of Principal and Session Judge, Ahmedabad (Rural) under section 45 of the PMLA, 2002 for the offence of money laundering,” the ED statement added. 
 

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