Home/ News / India/  Assets worth over 205 cr of Chennai-based company attached in money laundering case

Days after the Madras high court rejected their plea against the action initiated by the central agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday attached assets worth more than Rs. 205 crores of a Chennai-based chemical manufacturing company. The order is issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

In a statement, the agency informed that it has attached assets of MGM Maran, MGM Anand, and their company Southern Agrifurane Industries Private Limited, totaling up to 205.36 crore.

The PMLA case by the ED came after the Chennai police crime branch lodged a case against Maran, a former chairman of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited (TMBL) in 2007. The case was registered by Chennai police based on a complaint from a private bank.

The central agency claims that Maran, with other directors of TMBL, "facilitated a deal for the sale of 23.6 percent shares of TMBL from Indian shareholders to unauthorized overseas persons."

"MGM Maran acquired undisclosed foreign investments of 293.91 crore directly outside India during the same period. Such undisclosed investments were without the approval of RBI as well as from unexplained and highly dubious sources," the statement from ED added.

To escape the reach of Indian laws, MGM Maran surrendered his Indian citizenship and obtained Cyprus citizenship, according to the agency.

"Not only that but it was also found that MGM Maran also started transferring his wealth from India overseas to keep the same out of reach of the Indian law enforcement agencies in the garb of overseas direct investments from Southern Agrifurane Industries Private Limited," it said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also alleged that in October, the company filed a writ petition in the high court and obtained an interim stay on proceedings by making "misrepresentations" in the high court.

"The ED, in its detailed counter-affidavit, explained the entire background and facts of the case, and the Hon'ble Madras High Court on December 19 dismissed the writ petition and upheld that the company, by making a false declaration, has induced the bank to deliver valuable foreign exchange and such remittance in the hands of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the company, situated outside India, would constitute proceeds of crime," it said.

The agency has attached assets in the form of the entire shareholding of Maran and Anand in all prominent MGM Group companies in India, land, and buildings in Southern Agrifurane Industries Private Limited as well as Maran's entire shareholding (3.31 percent) in TMBL that was recently listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 26 Dec 2022, 07:27 PM IST
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