New Delhi, June 8: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth Rs 31 crore of two businessmen in connection with its probe in the Rs 6,000-crore Bank of Baroda (BoB) money laundering case of 2016, an official said on Thursday.
The agency attached the properties of Manmohan Singh Sehgal and his son Gagandeep Singh Sehgal under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act for fraudulent remittances through BoB.
“We have provisionally attached movable and immovable properties having estimated value of Rs 31 crore belonging to Manmohan Singh Sehgal and his son Gagandeep Singh Sehgal found to be involved in money laundering,” an ED official said.
According to him, the attached properties comprise land in Goa, some business premises and Hotel China Town in west Delhi’s Karol Bagh, residential premises in a posh locality of the capital and some high-end cars.
The Sehgals were arrested by the ED on March 28 for allegedly illegally routing about Rs 245 crore funds to firms based in Hong Kong through shell companies.
The agency said the businessmen had hired two people who got opened accounts in west Delhi’s Ashok Vihar branch of BoB “on the basis of fake identities in the name of the persons having no financial worth”.
Investigations revealed that huge amount of cash was either directly deposited in the suspect bank accounts or parked in shell companies through RTGS (real time gross settlement) facility of transferring funds, the ED official said.
The ED said these firms did not import any goods but these remittances were sent “so as to aid under-invoicing of goods” for other companies and thus save import duties.
The case had emerged last year and is being probed both by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The entire scam has been pegged at Rs 6,000 crore.
The ED had earlier termed this case to be an alleged incident of trade-based money laundering, wherein accused traders evaded custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds.
With an increased thrust against shell companies, the agency considers this case to be a classic instance of using such firms to launder funds.