The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against two Delhi-based brothers in connection with its probe into a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case and attached their agricultural land. The chargesheet against the businessmen brothers Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain and others, alleged to be involved in a black money racket being run through shell companies, was filed in a special court yesterday.
The central probe agency also attached agricultural land worth Rs 1.12 crore belonging to the Jain brothers in Bhatti village in the national capital region. With this, the total amount of property attached so far in the case amounts to Rs 65.82 crore.
Both the brothers are in jail at present in connection with the case. “In view of their income from laundering through shell companies, ED has provisionally attached an agricultural land, pertaining to the Jain brothers…to the extent of Rs 1,11,96,000 which is equivalent to the value of proceeds of crime.
“Earlier, a hotel property involved in money laundering, to the extent of Rs 64.70 crore, managed by Radisson Blu at Dwarka in Delhi was also attached. The total attachment of the property worth Rs 65.82 crore has been made so far in this case,” the ED said in a statement.
The ED has identified at least 90 shell firms in this probe case. It has identified 26 of them for allegedly laundering about Rs 62.20 crore funds.
Shell companies are firms set up with nominal paid up capital, high reserves and surplus on account of receipt of high share premium, investment in unlisted companies and no dividend income or high amount of cash-in-hand.
The case emerged after the agency filed a criminal complaint in February this year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a chargesheet filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office against certain individuals and firms “for providing accommodation entries by accepting funds from their beneficiaries through mediators and converting the same into share premium transactions in the beneficiary company”.
The agency suspects the entire racket to be worth about Rs 8,000 crore of slush funds. “The modus operandi of Jain brothers was to launder the unaccounted money through the process of placement of funds, layering of transactions and the final integration of laundering money into the banking channel camouflaged as legitimate share premium transactions,” it had said.
It emerged during the probe of other firms “controlled” by the Jain brothers that during a “short period of three months between the opening and closing of the accounts of these companies, there was credit and debit summations to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore”, it added.
The ED and other investigating agencies like the Income Tax department are also looking at the alleged role of the two brothers in routing funds through shell companies for certain people with political links, a senior official said. “Further investigation is under progress,” the ED said.