ED raids premises linked to TMC’s KD Singh in money laundering probe
The ED’s probe against Singh and a firm linked to him (Ms Alchemist Infra Realty Limited) dates back to September, 2016 when it filed a criminal case under the PMLA taking cognisance of a charge sheet filed against the company, its directors and others by market regulator SEBI.Updated: Sep 19, 2019 22:28 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday raided premises linked to Trinamool Congress’s Rajya Sabha member KD Singh in Delhi and Chandigarh in connection with a money laundering probe related to Ponzi schemes and fraud in a house scheme, two officials familiar with the developments told HT.
Interestingly, the ED raids on the TMC lawmaker came around the time when West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was meeting home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Thursday.
Earlier, in January this year, the ED had attached assets worth over Rs 239 crore belonging to a firm linked to Singh. It has been alleged that the Ponzi case in which Singh’s firm is being probed is pegged around Rs 1900 crore.
The ED’s probe against Singh and a firm linked to him (Ms Alchemist Infra Realty Limited) dates back to September, 2016 when it filed a criminal case under the PMLA taking cognisance of a charge sheet filed against the company, its directors and others by market regulator SEBI.
“Investigation revealed that the proceeds of crime generated by Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd were laundered through the web of companies. Investigations also revealed that the funds mobilised by the firm from various investors were never utilised for the purpose for which they were collected and the same were transferred to bank accounts of other group companies which were mainly paper companies from where they were systematically siphoned off by the accused and used to purchase properties at various locations in the country. All such assets in Punjab, Haryana , Shimla and bank accounts in HDFC Bank worth Rs 239.39 crore identified during the course of investigations have been provisionally attached,” the ED said in a statement in January this year.
It has been alleged by the probe agencies that the company launched an illegal collective investment scheme, also called a ponzi or chit fund scheme, and mobilised funds of about Rs 1,916 crore from the public in the years preceding 2015.
The firm allegedly launched the scheme “without the approval” of the SEBI and led to cheating of gullible investors.
In 2015, the firm had informed the SEBI that it had refunded Rs 1,077 crore after the market regulators investigation and had sought more time to restore the rest of the amount, which was turned down by the SEBI. Subsequently, a chargesheet was filed by the SEBI in March, 2016.
K D Singh was questioned by CBI in Narada sting probe.
First Published: Sep 19, 2019 22:28 IST