Kingpin behind trade-based money laundering arrested

It is learnt that the accused, a proprietor of Astral Exim and Co, allegedly operated an array of accounts at various banks.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

CHENNAI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Muhammed Riyaz, the alleged mastermind behind trade-based money laundering case involving shell entities, after an investigation on the specific instruction from Central Vigilance Commission. This comes after a case was registered by the ED based on an FIR filed by Central Bureau of Investigation alleging fraudulent high-value forex outward remittances or transactions exceeding Rs 3,500 crore using 57 shell entities current account opened at Syndicate Bank, Armenian Street branch here. 

It is learnt that the accused, a proprietor of Astral Exim and Co, allegedly operated an array of accounts at various banks. The modus operandi was to open current account in the name of fictitious business entity at first instance based on fabricated identity documents obtained by the individual.

As a subsequent move, sums were poured into the accounts operated in complete anonymity from various other accounts maintained on pan India basis. As the final move, fabricated documents were submitted before the banks, made them send the foreign exchange outside the country under the guise of advance payments against imports, ED sources said. On Thursday, ED recovered multiple identity documents from the residential premises of Riyaz. He has been remanded in Puzhal Central Prison.

It was found that Riyaz an integrated a sum of Rs 14.5 crore collected from various persons on a pan-India basis within two months. The funds were immediately transferred to various entities in Hong Kong

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