Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], May 11 (ANI): The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) arrested two more persons in the ongoing money laundering investigation in the ‘Liquor scam’ in the State of Chhattisgarh, said the officials on Thursday.
Nitesh Purohit, a close associate of Anwar Dhebar and Trilok Singh Dhillon who was found to be a prime beneficiary of Proceeds of Crime has been arrested under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 by the ED.
According to the officials, an ED investigation revealed that Nitesh Purohit was involved in the handling and movement of illegally collected cash. “He was transporting cash as per the instructions of Anwar Dhebar. He was arrested on May 10 and produced before PMLA Special Court, Raipur and has been granted five days ED Custody for interrogation”, said an official statement.
ED investigation also revealed that Trilok Singh Dhillon was a prime beneficiary of Proceeds of Crime through a classic mode of money laundering.
“He has willingly and knowingly allowed his bank accounts and firms to be used for layering of large amounts of Proceeds of Crime. Without any reasonable explanation, he has taken funds through banking channels from the FL-10A license holders falsely showing it as an unsecured loan and kept as FD”, the statement read.
The statement further stated that Dhillon has also taken kickbacks from major Country liquor suppliers in the guise of business transactions and kept the money with him.
“The underlying business transactions shown have been found to be completely bogus. During a search operation at his premises, illegal surveillance was mounted on ED’s operation with the help of an aerial drone by unidentified persons. ED has freezed FDs of Rs 27.5 Crore in the name of his firms involved in money laundering and also seized Rs 52 Lakhs of unaccounted cash. He was arrested on May 11 and produced before PMLA Special Court which granted 4 days ED Custody”, the statement added.
ED conducted searches at various locations connected to hawala operators & entities on May 9 where proceeds of crime were suspected to be parked. During the search, movable properties worth Rs 28 crore suspected to be PoC have been unearthed and seized.
ED is conducting an investigation into the liquor scam between 2019 to 2022 in which money was illegally generated and siphoned off in various corrupt ways. “Part A Commission – Bribe was collected from the distillers per case basis of liquor procured from the distillers by the CSMCL (State body for purchase and sale of liquor), by Part B sale of unaccounted kacha off-the-books Country Liquor. In this case, not even a single rupee reached the State Exchequer, and all the sale proceeds were pocketed by the Syndicate. The illegal liquor was sold from State-run shops only”, the statement said.
The statement further said, “The money was also generated through commission in the form of bribes taken from distillers to allow them to make a cartel and have fixed market share. This cartel was exclusively a supplier for the state of Chhattisgarh and a commission from FL-10A License Holders who were introduced to earn kickback/ illegal gratification from them in the foreign liquor segment also.”
The Enforcement Directorate on May 6 arrested Anwar Dhebar, elder brother of Raipur Mayor Aijaz Dhebar, and claimed to unearth a liquor scam to the tune of around Rs 2000 crore. Dhebar was produced before the court from where he was sent to four days ED custody. The court extended the ED custody of Dhebar after he was produced again on May 10 as the custody was ended. (ANI)
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