NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested two importers mobile phone accessories Manmohan Singh Sehgal and Gagandeep Singh Sehgal under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the Bank of Baroda case relating to shell companies using the public sector bank for money laundering during UPA.
“Investigations revealed that two persons Varun Bhatia and Gaurav Bhatia opened three shell firms viz Neha Enterprises, Vandana Impex and Aggarwal International. They got bank accounts opened at Ashok Vihar (Delhi) branch of Bank of Baroda in the name of the persons having no financial worth on the basis of fake identities. From these accounts, USD 3,78,26,899 (approx) were remitted to Ever Shine, Hong Kong and Great Asian, Hong Kong in the guise of advance import. However these firms did not import any goods but these remittances were sent so as to aid in under invoicing of goods for other companies and thus save import duties,” the agency said in a statement.
Further investigations by the agency revealed that Varun Bhatia and Gaurav Bhatia were working for arrested accused persons Gagandeep Singh and Manmohan Singh who were importers of electronic goods.
The agency said Gagandeep Singh owns a company Ever Shine in Hong Kong and also controlled Great Asian Exports, HK.
“The email exchanged between Gagandeep Singh and Abhay Gupta, director of Great Asian Exports revealed the complicity of Sehgal family in this racket,” the agency statement further said.
The probe also revealed that imports of various mobile phone accessories had taken place from Great Asian Exports to Gagandeep Impex (P) Ltd and Universal Holding Company which are Indian companies of Gagandeep Singh and Manmohan Singh. The Ever Shine Exports is directly owned by Gagandeep Singh in Hong Kong in which foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 86 crore was sent in the guise of advance import remittances without actual import. Likewise, foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 144 crore was remitted to Great Asia Exports.
“Both Gagandeep Singh and Manmohan Singh have been arrested under Section 19 of PMLA by Enforcement Directorate for their involvement in laundering money using shell companies through Bank of Baroda,” the agency statement added.