CHENNAI : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday attached fixed deposits of Rs 143 crore of Kanishk Gold under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act during an investigation based on the first information report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Bengaluru, for cheating a consortium of 14 banks to the tune of Rs 824 crore.The attachment comes in the wake of the ED freezing Kanishk Gold’s manufacturing unit at Pukkathurai in Maduranthakam taluk in Kancheepuram district on Tuesday.
ED Joint Director K S V V Prasad said investigations revealed that around Rs 300 crore was paid by Kanishk Gold to a jeweller’s account.Since the forensic audit observed that there was no evidence of receipt of gold for the payments, investigations revealed that the account was used for money laundering purposes earlier also, he said. With a reasonable belief that the bank account is used for money laundering, fixed deposits worth Rs 143.58 crore available in the account were attached.
Currently, the total properties frozen or attached provisionally stands at Rs 191 crore. The CBI has registered an FIR against Kanishk Gold following a complaint from the general manager, State Bank of India, Chennai, about offences of forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy against the accused. It is alleged that huge bank loans were obtained from a consortium of 14 banks with the SBI as the lead bank.
Credit facilities are obtained on securities such as raw materials, semi-finished goods, finished goods, stores and spares showing huge stocks. However, it was later realised that stock statements were fudged with the help of chartered accountants and on inspection by the banks in May 2017. During investigations by the ED, falsification of records was admitted and it was stated that the stock gap between the actual and that reported to banks had risen to 3,000 kg gold by 2017.
The big loot
The CBI had registered an FIR against Kanishk Gold following a complaint from the General Manager, State Bank of India, Chennai alleging offences of forgery, cheating and conspiracy. It was alleged that huge bank loans (to the tune of (`824 crore) were obtained from a consortium of 14 Banks with the SBI as the lead bank. On Tuesday, the ED freezed Rs 48 crore worth Kanishk Gold’s manufacturing unit at Pukkathurai in Kancheepuram. During investigation, falsification of records was admitted and it was stated that the stock gap between the actual and reported to banks has risen to 3000 kg of gold by 2017.