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ED Attaches Former Gujarat IAS Officer's Assets Worth Rs 14 Crore in Money Laundering Case

File photo of the Enforcement Directorate.

File photo of the Enforcement Directorate.

Gupta, a 1985-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, quit the service in 2002 and later, started his own hospitality business under the name of Neesa Group of Companies, the agency said.

Assets worth over Rs 14 crore of companies "controlled" by former Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Sanjay Gupta have been attached under the anti-money laundering law, the ED said on Wednesday.

Gupta, a 1985-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, quit the service in 2002 and later, started his own hospitality business under the name of Neesa Group of Companies, the agency said.

This is the second attachment order against Gupta as the agency had frozen properties worth over Rs 36.12 crore belonging to him and his family in December last year.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) case against Gupta pertains to alleged criminal misconduct and misappropriation of funds of the Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Limited (MEGA).

The officer was the chairman of MEGA from April, 2011 to August, 2013.

"The attached properties include a flat in Noida's Sector 62, industrial plots in a special economic zone in Gujarat's Dahej and the Hotel Cambay at Thaltej in Ahmedabad," the central probe agency said in a statement.

The properties, worth Rs 14.15 crore, are held in the name of Neesa Group companies such as Neesa Leisure Limited, Neesa Infrastructure Limited, Euclid Constructions Limited and "owned or controlled" by Gupta, it said.

The ED probe found that "Gupta, during his tenure as chairman, MEGA, arbitrarily appointed his close associates in various official positions, who were previously working with him in the Neesa Group".

"Gupta also floated a number of paper or dummy companies with these employees as directors and got bank accounts of these firms opened during 2012-13," the agency charged.

It alleged that fictitious companies involved in the case raised fabricated and bogus bills to MEGA without any supply of goods or services.

"Gupta did not adopt any procedure for awarding of work contracts in MEGA through wide circulation of advertisements through media or newspapers. The dummy companies were awarded contracts on the pretext of supply of goods and services to MEGA and bogus bills were raised.

"These bogus bills and invoices were certified by the illegally-recruited MEGA officials and the payments were finally approved by Gupta as the administrative and financial powers were vested in him," the agency said.

The ED took over the case after taking cognisance of the FIRs and chargesheets filed by the Gujarat CID against Gupta and others.

Gupta was also arrested by the state CID in 2015.

first published:July 08, 2020, 21:02 IST