MUMBAI: Assets worth over Rs 21 crore of a city-based bullion trader have been attached under anti-money laundering laws in a case in which a huge purchase of gold was made using alleged tainted funds post demonetisation, the ED today said.
The central probe agency said it issued a provisional order on November 14, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), attaching six shops/commercial premises and three residential flats "belonging to Chandrakant Patel and others in the matter of Ms Pushpak Bullion in post demonetisation currency conversion scam in Mumbai".
The assets are worth Rs 21.46 crore, it said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Patel in this case in September and he is in jail currently.
"Patel was the main person who had collected cash in demonetised currency and deposited in the bank accounts of two dummy companies in collusion with bank officials and subsequently layered the same through investments in gold bullion.
"The account of Ms Pushpak Bullion was already a NPA (non performing asset) account declared by the concerned bank," the agency said in a statement.
The agency had called Patel as the mastermind in this money laundering scam.
It had said that its probe found that cash to the tune of Rs 84.5 crore was deposited in the account of companies--M/s Pihu Gold and M/s Satnam Jewels--post notes ban.
"The said amount was deposited in cash within a short span of 41 days between November-December 2016. The said funds were subsequently transferred to the account of Pushpak Bullions and further used towards purchase of 258 kg gold bullion," it said.
The agency had said its investigation showed that the said companies did not have matching economic wherewithal to have entered into such transactions in cash and subsequently layering the same through investments in gold bullion.
The two currencies of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were demonetised after a declaration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.