NEWS

Indian Woman Director Of Hong Kong-Based Firm Arrested For Laundering Crores Of Rupees Post Demonetisation

Busted.

27/02/2017 10:06 PM IST | Updated 27/02/2017 10:38 PM IST
Vivek Prakash / Reuters
Representative image.

MUMBAI -- The Enforcement Directorate has arrested a woman Director of a Hong Kong-based firm in connection with its money laundering probe against a diamond firm here, involving ₹1,478 crore funds and over 500 alleged shell company accounts.

The agency today identified the woman as Kritika Dahal (35) and said she was arrested at the agency's office here on 25 February under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It said Dahal was first "intercepted" at the airport and was placed under arrest after questioning.

She has been sent to ED's custody till tomorrow by a special PMLA court here.

The agency said Dahal "controlled" a firm called International Rising Limited in Hong Kong and had 99.99 per cent shares of the said company.

The case emerged after the ED booked Ritesh Jain, a diamond trader based here, for "opening bank accounts in the name of dummy companies for affecting illegal transactions" post demonetisation, and subsequently indulged in alleged illegal import of diamonds using a maze of bank accounts and layering.

These dummy or shell firm accounts, the agency said, were used to launder huge monies post demonetisation, which included the involvement of the Hong Kong-based firm.

"During the course of investigation, it was revealed that the accounts were used for effecting illegal transactions of huge amounts which were credited from more than 100 accounts of different shell companies, sourced from more than ₹92 crore in old demonetised currency deposited in the account post the notes ban.

"Layering of these funds has been done through more than 500 accounts," the ED said in a statement.

The agency had also carried out raids in this case last year in December, including at the premises of Ms Rajeshwar Exports Private Limited, a firm of Jain and had seized diamonds worth over ₹30 crore.

"The funds from all companies/firms were credited through RTGS to Ms Rajeshwar Exports Pvt Ltd which were utilised for outward remittance to Hong Kong in guise of payment of import of overvalued consignments of total 355 bills of entries. It was found that the total outward remittance of USD 21.22 crore (approx ₹1,421 crore) were undertaken from the account of the firm within a period of one year.

"Out of this, more than ₹92 crore was deposited in various accounts in cash after demonetisation, which was then transferred to the accounts of Ms Rajeshwar Exports and subsequently utilised by it for outward remittance," the agency said.

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