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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Surat fake diamonds case: Court summons 77 accused on Sept 2

PTI   July 22, 2014
First Published: 17:24 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 17:33 IST(22/7/2014)
A special anti-money laundering court in Ahmedabad has issued summons to 77 people after taking cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet in the Rs. 5,000-crore Surat fake diamond trade and hawala scam.
 
The court has issued the summons for September 2 against these accused, the ED said in an official statement.
 
Last week, the agency had filed a charge sheet under money laundering laws against these 77 entities and key accused in the case Afroz Fatta and Madanlal Jain.
 
The agency has probed the case for over four months and charged a total of 79 people, including Fatta and Jain, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
 
The court also granted the ED three days judicial custody of Jain for further questioning in the case.
 
The agency is also probing hawala dealings (transfer of money through illegal banking channels) in this particular case under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
 
The agency's zonal office in Surat, in March, had claimed to have busted a hawala racket to the tune of Rs. 700-crore during searches at the offices of some diamond traders in this city.
 
Sleuths had also questioned Fatta and trader Jain for their alleged involvement in the racket where it is suspected that Rs. 700 crore was sent outside India.
 
It suspects the total scam to be worth Rs. 5,000 crore.
 
ED suspects that the people it is probing indulged in huge under-valuation of imported diamonds in order to send a large amount of foreign exchange outside the country without paying proper duties and taxes.
 
The agency has alleged that instead of importing diamonds, the traders made bogus import bills claiming that they had purchased the diamonds from a foreign trader.
 
Using the bills, the traders used to transfer money to overseas banks and financial intermediaries, without ever importing any diamond, it claimed.

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