A Kolkata-based businessman, arrested in connection with alleged conversion of over Rs 25 crore old currency in new notes, was today sent to seven days in Enforcement Directorate custody by a city court which was told that he was required to unearth the money trail.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain granted ED the custody of businessman Paras M Lodha, who was arrested late yesterday after being questioned here in connection with the conversion of over Rs 25 crore of old notes in to new notes in Shekhar Reddy and Rohit Tandon cases.
The ED, in its plea seeking 14 days remand of Lodha, said his custodial interrogation was necessary to identify the names and details of international and Hawala operators involved in the matter and others who have committed the offence of money laundering under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It said Lodha’s custody was necessary for further probe as the case is at a “very crucial stage.”
While the Reddy case pertains to Chennai where the Income Tax department made the biggest haul of unaccounted income of over Rs 142 crore, the Delhi Police and the I-T seized Rs 13.5 crore from a law firm here belonging to lawyer Rohit Tandon. Reddy was yesterday arrested by the CBI.
The ED today also submitted that it was making efforts to trace the absconding persons and further ascertain the proceeds of crime and the money trail even involving foreign countries, which may take time.
Opposing ED’s plea, Lodha’s counsel told the court that the allegations against his client were false and baseless.