The Enforcement Directorate(ED) on Saturday attached assets worth Rs 57.45 crore in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering probe pertaining to the bank fraud case of Rs 242 crore against Atlas Jewellery Private Limited and its directors M.M. Ramachandran, Indira Ramachandran and others.
As per an ED official, the attached assets consist of gold, silver and diamond jewellery, silver articles, amounts lying in bank accounts, bank’s fixed deposits and immovable properties.
Money laundering investigation was initiated on the basis of an FIR registered by the Kerala Police against Atlas Jewellery, and Ramachandrans under various sections of the IPC for allegedly cheating South Indian Bank, Round South Branch, Thrissur, Kerala.
During the investigation, the probe agency learnt that the suspected persons during the period from 2013 to 2018 cheated the South Indian Bank (SIB) on the pretext of taking loan.
“With an intention to cheat, they had planned and furnished forged documents with the bank and availed loan of Rs 242.40 crore for business purposes. But they didn’t repay the loan. It was used to create wealth in the forms of property and jewellery. The seized property is nothing but proceeds of crime,” said the official.
Earlier, on the basis of information gathered from reliable source, it was learnt that Ramachandran had invested Rs 100 crore by way of purchase of Equity Shares of Atlas Jewellery India Limited (AJIL), New Delhi and another Rs 14 crore in the Escrow Account with Axis Bank.
The ED had carried out search operations at the business premises and bank lockers of Atlas Jewellery India Limited (AJIL) at Mumbai and Bengaluru.
“At that time we seized Rs 12.59 crore in the form of Indian currency, gold, silver and diamond jewellery,” the official said.
Further investigation in the matter is on.