The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today filed a chargesheet in a hawala racket case that was reported from Katni district of Madhya Pradesh, in which it alleged that funds to the tune of Rs 500 crore were illegally routed by the accused, using fake bank accounts, post demonetisation.
The agency filed the 861-page chargesheet before a special PMLA court in Jabalpur and named a firm, Ms Nirnidhi Marketing Private Limited, and three individuals -- Satish Saraogi, Manish Saraogi and Manvendra Mistry -- as accused in it.
The chargesheet was filed under section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), it said.
The ED had filed a case of money laundering in this regard on the basis of an FIR lodged by the local police.
The case dates back to early last year and had assumed political overtones after the then Katni Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Tiwari, considered to be instrumental in taking the probe in the case forward, was transferred on January 9, 2017 to Chhindwara by the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.
"The probe revealed that the links between the accounts and the final beneficiary of the proceeds of crime were the Saraogi family and Ms Nirnidhi Marketing Pvt Ltd.
"It also established that these accounts in Axis Bank were created for the very purpose of placing the illegal cash into the banking system and then finally, integrating it into the beneficiary companies by layering through various paper/front companies without any underlying business transaction," the ED said in a statement.
It added that this was done to "route" the illegal money into the beneficiary companies by creating a web of financial transactions and hiding its criminal origin.
"These proceeds of crime were then projected as untainted and utilised in the regular course of business or for purchase of properties/assets," the agency said.
The probe also revealed that in addition to this modus operandi of using bank accounts in the name of fake firms for laundering illegal money, Manish and Satish Saraogi used these firms and accounts for sale of illegal or diverted subsidised coal, obtained from SECL, in the open market for personal gains.
"The investigation has so far has revealed that huge amounts have been laundered through the three accounts of firms like Ms Mahadev Trading and Ms S K Minerals, opened fraudulently, and finally integrated into the account of Ms Nirnidhi Marketing Pvt Ltd, controlled by Satish Saraogi," the agency said.
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