Chennai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs12 crore of two accused in connection with its money laundering probe against sand mining baron J. Sekhar Reddy and others post demonetisation.
Officials said the agency issued a provisional attachment order attaching the assets of Ashok Jain and Mahaveer Hirani under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“The investigations revealed that Rs10.25 crore of cash and 6.5 kg gold (valued at Rs1.80 crore) seized by the income tax authorities from the premises of Jain and others are assets involved in the process of money laundering and are liable to attachment pending confiscation. Accordingly, the said assets worth Rs12 crore were attached provisionally,” the agency said in a statement.
Both Jain and Hirani had been arrested by the ED in this case in December last year. A total of five people have been arrested till now in this case, including Reddy, by the central probe agency. The agency had filed a criminal complaint against Reddy and others based on a CBI FIR in the case which was registered after the I-T department first searched his and his associates’ premises in November last year.
The tax department has made one of the biggest detections of alleged unaccounted income of over Rs142 crore in this case with the seizure of Rs34 crore in new notes, post demonetisation. The Reddy case and the other involving Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon and Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha are being probed by at least four agencies - the ED, the income tax department, the CBI and the Delhi Police, and are considered the most high-profile black money cases being investigated in the aftermath of the notes ban.
An attachment of assets action under PMLA is aimed to deprive the accused from obtaining benefits of their ill- gotten wealth and it gets confirmed after an order of the adjudicating authority of the said act within 180 days.