CHENNAI: Property worth over Rs 150 crore of Gold Quest International, Chennai, were provisionally attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), according to the agency’s Joint Director KSVV Prasad.
He said the ED seized immovable property such as residential buildings, vacant lands, commercial complexes etc. in Chennai, Madurai, Hyderabad and Mumbai worth Rs 72 crore after investigation against Gold Quest was done in 2016.
Prasad said Rs 5.3 crore worth cash had been seized during searches by police besides Rs 14 crore in shares and mutual funds, Rs 48 crore worth deposits in various banks and Rs 27 crore worth gold and silver articles.
Investigation revealed that several property had been acquired and also using the proceeds of crime, several property were purchased in the name of Gold Quest International Pvt. Ltd., Quest net enterprises and Pallava Resorts Ltd, he said.
The investigation followed filing of a case in 2009 against the firm for allegedly cheating the public.
The company sold gold coins and other articles at exorbitant prices stating that the articles were limited edition products having numismatic values.
Preliminary inquiry by police revealed that the company had expanded their operations by luring the public towards such articles and huge commissions were paid to marketing personnel.
Prasad said several persons who were at the helm of affairs, such as Pushpam Appalanaidu, K Padma and Munnawar Ahamed were examined and their statements recorded under PMLA.