In a fresh crackdown on
YSR Congress party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and his associates,
the Enforcement Directorate today attached assets worth Rs
143.74 crore in connection with its probe in the money
laundering case against him.
The ED attachment order, under criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), comes in less than four months after the agency first issued two separate attachment orders of Rs 51 crore and Rs 71 crore respectively against the Kadapa Member of Parliament and others involved in this disproportionate assets case.
The agency, according to agency sources, has few more similar orders in the pipeline as it plans to build a water tight case against Jagan and his associates.
Today's order has been issued against the Ramky group of companies which the ED order alleges earned "proceeds of crime" by alleged illegal favours done by the then Andhra Pradesh government and the firm gave kickbacks for favours by remitting illegal money in a firm owned by Jagan Reddy.
The case pertains to the tenure of Jagan's father and former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.
"Immovable properties and movable assets worth Rs 143.74 crore under section 5(1) of PMLA are being attached. The properties attached are from Ms Ramky Pharma City (India) Limited are approximately 135.46 acres of land and deposit of Rs 3.20 crore in mutual funds and fixed deposits for Rs 10 Crore from Jagati Publications Private Limited (held by Jagan Reddy)," the attachment order said.
The agency is probing the case on the basis of the FIR filed by CBI to investigate alleged disproportionate assets amassed by Jagan especially during the tenure of his father as CM.
During the course of investigation, the ED alleged, "It was revealed that Ms Ramky Pharma City (India) LTD illegally
sold land falling in greenbelt area and acquired a sum of Rs
133.74 crore. In lieu of the favour from the state government
of Andhra Pradesh, A Ayodhya Rami Reddy, Chairman of Ms Ramky
Group paid a sum of Rs 10 crore in equity of Ms Jagati
Publications Private LTD (a company owned and controlled by
Jagan Mohan Reddy).
"The payment of Rs 10 crore was kickback for the favours done by the state government. Thus, the investigation under PMLA has so far revealed that shareholders of Ms Ramky Pharma City (India) LTD are Ms Ramky Infrastructure LTD, Ms Ramky Estates and Farms Limited and APIIC," it alleged.
The ED further said that "M/s Ramky Pharma City (India) LTD had sold the plots in non-SEZ area and leased out plots in SEZ area in the Pharma City named as Ms Jawahar Lal Nehru Pharma City. In the illegal sale and lease of land falling under the greenbelt area, by sale of 23 plots in non-SEZ area and 8 plots in SEZ area the generation of proceeds of crime was to the tune of Rs 133.74 crore.
"Ms Ramky Pharma City (India) LTD was illegally benefited by this amount as a result of criminal activity. Further payment of Rs 10 crore by Ramky Group of Companies to Ms Jagati Publications is the proceeds of crime which was transferred as equity contribution in the company. Thus, total amount of the proceeds of crime is Rs 143.74 crore," the ED alleged.
An ED attachment is an enforcement action under anti-money laundering laws to restrict the accused from taking benefit out of the properties or assets they have created/earned through illegal means.
The accused parties can appeal against the order at the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA based here.