The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 2.77 crore, including Rs 29 lakhs in bank deposits, of a retired IAS officer and Chennai Port Trust (CPT) Chairman in connection with its money laundering probe against him and others, that emerged from an earlier disproportionate assets case against him. The agency’s zonal office in Chennai on Wednesday said it has issued orders, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), to provisionally attach three immovable assets worth Rs 2.48 crore and bank deposits to the tune of Rs 29 lakhs of K Suresh, a retired 1982-batch IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
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The ED had slapped money laundering charges against Suresh and others based on a CBI FIR and charge sheet against him on charges of possessing alleged disproportionate assets. The CBI had filed a criminal complaint against him and raided his premises in Chennai in 2009.
The case pertains to CBI probe findings that Suresh, while working as the Zonal Manager of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and CPT in Chennai “during September 2003-August 2009 acquired and was in possession of movable and immovable assets and pecuniary resources in his name and in the name of his wife which were disproportionate to an extent of about Rs 2.79 crore to their known sources of income, which works out to 450 per cent of his known sources of income during the check period.”
The ED said its PMLA probe found that the “proceeds of crime derived by Suresh…were laundered with the help of a real estate agent from Rajapalayam, a family friend and through the various accounts operated by the proprietor of a real estate firm, who operates his accounts in the names of various shell companies with a Chennai bank.”
“He (owner of real estate firm) utilised the same for the purchase of an immovable property at Kottivakkam in the name of the wife of Suresh and the same is being projected as untainted property by him,” ED said in a statement. The agency added Suresh had “acquired another immovable property at Kodaikanal by laundering proceeds of crime committed by him with the help a family friend and a gold and diamond mining businessman in Africa. “The Kodaikanal property was purchased in the name of the brother-in-law of the associate who acted as a benami for Suresh,” it said.
An attachment under PMLA is aimed to deprive the accused from obtaining benefits of his ill-gotten wealth and such an order can be appealed before the Adjudicating Authority of the said Act within 180 days. A special CBI court in Chennai, in November last year, had convicted and sentenced Suresh to two years rigorous imprisonment in the case filed by the central anti-corruption probe agency.