ED to attach more assets of Winsome Diamonds soon

The agency recently raided Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamond Ltd, an associate firm of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery promoted by Jatin Mehta.

Written by Khushboo Narayan | Mumbai | Published:October 3, 2016 1:55 am

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has identified more assets of Winsome Diamonds, India’s second largest wilful defaulter which owes banks over Rs 4,600 crore, and will soon move to attach these after several raids conducted by the agency recently in connection with a money laundering probe, according to official sources.

The agency recently raided Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamond Ltd, an associate firm of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery promoted by Jatin Mehta.

Winsome figures second in the list of top wilful defaulters in India after Kingfisher Airlines. While Winsome Diamonds owes Rs 4,680 crore to a consortium of banks headed by Standard Chartered Bank, its associate firm Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery owes another Rs 2,121.82 crore to a set of banks led by Punjab National Bank.

The ED is investigating Winsome Diamonds and its associates under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for loan default. According to sources, ED has also raided the residence of the former managing director of Forever Precious, Jay Kumar Begani. “The raids were conducted in six different locations including Jay Begani’s residence and we have seized several incriminating documents,” said an ED source.The agency has also identified some assets of the company and is planning to attach it. The ED has already attached assets worth over Rs 171 crore of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd in Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Surat, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi and Mumbai. The Winsome probe is also being monitored by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money.

The agency has also identified some assets of the company and is planning to attach it. The ED has already attached assets worth over Rs 171 crore of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd in Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Surat, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi and Mumbai. The Winsome probe is also being monitored by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money.As reported by The Indian Express in December 2015, trouble started for Winsome Diamonds and Forever Precious in January 2013, when 13 of their UAE-based distributors controlled by a Jordanian national Haytham Ali Salman Abu

As reported by The Indian Express in December 2015, trouble started for Winsome Diamonds and Forever Precious in January 2013, when 13 of their UAE-based distributors controlled by a Jordanian national Haytham Ali Salman Abu Obidah, failed to pay Rs 4,760 crore to the company, according to the 2012-13 annual report of Winsome Diamonds. Obidah, owner of Italian Gold FZE, the main distributor of Winsome Diamonds in the UAE, introduced the Indian company to several other distributors in 2012. All these companies were directly or indirectly connected to Obidah.

The ED has been probing Winsome Diamonds since December 2014 and has issued Letter Rogatory (LR) to UAE seeking assistance from UAE to locate the assets of the company abroad, the bank details of the companies that have allegedly not paid the Indian company and to verify the genuineness of the transactions carried out by Winsome with its foreign partners.

Winsome Diamonds has claimed that the firm and its subsidiaries have not diverted funds and were victims of non-payment by customers. Winsome has maintained that it did send the goods to the defaulting firms. The company claims that Obidah and his associate companies suffered losses of about $1 billion in derivatives and commodity trading and were unable to pay their dues.

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