Money laundering case: Auro Gold owner returns from Dubai, finally in ED net
Diamond trader and owner of Auro Gold jewellery company, Ritesh Jain, the prime accused in the alleged money laundering case of ₹1,478 crore through a web of shell companies, was nabbed by the Mumbai Police at the international airport on Sunday morning upon his return from Dubai.
Jain has been absconding since December 2016. He has been quarantined as he returned from a foreign country. Senior inspector Deepak Nikam of the LT Marg police station said, “We have not arrested Jain but the inquiry is ongoing.”
LT Marg police had registered a cheating and criminal conspiracy case against Jain in September 2017 after a complainant approached them, alleging that his documents had been forged and a fake company formed in his name by Jain. The complainant claimed that several transactions had been made from the account without his knowledge.
Earlier, another case was registered at NM Joshi Marg police station in November 2016 based on allegations that Jain and his father Amritlal Jain deposited ₹100 crore in shell companies after demonetisation. The case was later transferred to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which booked Jain under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act, 2002 for allegedly opening bank accounts in the name of dummy companies.
Jain had got a stay against his arrest from the Supreme Court in December 2019 in the PMLA case but according to a senior officer of the ED, the Mumbai Police can still arrest him in the 2017 case registered at LT Marg police station.
Lookout circulars (LOCs) were issued against Jain and his father after they fled the country. Amritlal died in December 2019, leaving Jain the owner of jewellery company Auro Gold Jewellery Private Limited in Mumbai.
In December 2016, ED conducted searches of the offices of Rajeshwar Export, a Mumbai-based diamond company which was owned by Jain.
During the inquiry, the agency found that Rajeshwar Export had allegedly diverted around ₹700 crore to Hong Kong in November 2016 soon after the demonetisation process began. ED found documents revealing that the company had diverted more than ₹1,400 crore between December 2015 and November 2016.
Later, the investigating agency attached 10 immovable properties, gold jewellery and diamonds worth ₹ 58.16 crore that belongs to Ritesh and his father Amritlal.