New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said that it has attached assets worth Rs 36.12 crore of former IAS officer Sanjay Gupta and his wife, accumulated in the name of Neesa Group of Companies in connection with its probe into misappropriation of public funds from Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd, (MEGA) under the charges of money laundering.
The ED initiated the probe against the former IAS on the basis of the FIR and chargesheets filed by Gandhinagar’s CID Crime under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The ED said that attached properties include flats at Dhananjay Towers, Satellite, Ahmedabad Casela Towers, Ahmedabad, one flat at Agarwal Apartment in Ahmedabad, Cambay Hotel at Thaltej, and plots and factories at Visalpur, Changodar and Daskroi in Ahmedabad.
According to the central probe agency, Gupta along with his wife formed Neesa Group of Companies namely Neesa Leisure Ltd., Neesa Technologies, Neesa Agritech and Foods Ltd.
During probe it was found that Gupta, a 1985 batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, who quit his job in 2002, started his own hospitality business in the name of Neesa Group of companies. The ED said that he became Chairman of MEGA in April 2011 and continued till August 2013.
“Investigations under PMLA revealed that Gupta during his tenure as Chairman arbitrarily appointed his close associates in various officials’ positions in MEGA, who were previously working with him in Neesa Group,” the agency said in a statement.
The ED claimed that Gupta floated a number of dummy companies with these employees, as Directors and got opened bank accounts of these companies during 2012-13.
“These fictitious companies further raised fabricated or bogus bills or invoices to MEGA without any supply of Goods or Services,” the financial probe agency said.
During probe it was also found that Gupta didn’t adopt any procedure for awarding of work contract in MEGA through wide circulation of advertisement through media.
“Further dummy companies were awarded contract on the pretext of supply of goods or services to MEGA and bogus bills or invoices were raised and the money was also deposited in the account of these dummy companies, which was generated through purported cheque discounters and in the guise of consideration of allotment of contracts in MEGA. The ED found that proceeds of crime to the tune Rs 65.73 crore were received from MEGA through bogus bills or invoices in the accounts of the dummy companies floated and controlled by Gupta. An amount of Rs 36.12 crore was layered and diverted to the accounts of Gupta, his wife and his Neesa Group companies which were further utilised in business activities of the said companies and also for making repayments to their respective loan accounts,” it added.