ED arrests 11 persons in Chennai Port Trust PMLA case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that it has arrested 11 persons in connection with a money laundering case for defrauding the Chennai Port Trust to the tune of Rs 45.054 crore.

The arrested persons have been identified as P.V. Sudalaimuthu, M. Vijay Heralld, M. Rajesh Singh, S. Siyad, K. Zakir Hussain, Suresh Kumar, Ganesh Natarajan, V. Manimozhi, J. Selvakumar, A. Sermathiraja and Arun Anbu.

The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of FIRs registered by the CBI and ACB, Chennai.

The ED had recently searched 15 premises across Tamil Nadu, and during the course of the investigation, the suspected persons were examined and it was found that the proceeds of crime, i.e., the money obtained out of liquidation of the fixed deposits pertaining to Chennai Port Trust, were invested in acquiring more than 230 acres of land, several plots, vehicles, gold etc.

The ED said that the same were attached in December 2021 and February 2022.

During further investigation, it was learnt that the suspected persons had submitted fake fixed deposit receipts to the Chennai Port Trust.

“They had fraudulently liquidated the fixed deposits within a couple of days after their opening with the help of original FD receipts retained by them. An amount of Rs 45.40 crore was fraudulently transferred to a fake current account in the name and style of Chennai Port Trust-General Insurance Fund,” said an ED official.

The official said that around Rs 15.25 crore was withdrawn in cash from the said fake current account by people impersonating as Deputy Director, Finance, Chennai Port Trust. The remaining amount of around Rs 31.65 crore was transferred to several accounts through more than 49 transactions and subsequently withdrawn from those accounts upon luring the account holders in lieu of small commissions.

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