The Enforcement Directorate has seized gold and diamond jewellery worth over Rs 4 crore after it raided promoters of a Tamil Nadu-based company in a money laundering probe linked to an alleged bank loan fraud, the agency said on Thursday. The searches were conducted under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the residential premises of K Subbaraj, chairman of Tiruchirappalli-based Cethar Ltd, its managing director K Pothiraj and director of NSK Builders Pvt Ltd N S K Kalairaja were covered, it said.
"Gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 1.77 crore along with several property documents were seized from the residence of K Subbaraj and property documents, incriminating evidences and digital evidence were also seized from the other premises," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said. "Another set of gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 2.3 crore belonging to K Subbaraj and Rs 35 lakh belonging to K Pothiraj have been seized from six lockers," it said.
The total value of the seized assets is Rs 4.43 crore. The ED case is based on a 2018 FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Cethar Ltd, Trichy, and others who allegedly availed credit facilities to the tune of Rs 1,340 crore and "systematically committed fraud and cheating" of the Indian Bank and other banks under a consortium.
The ED said its probe found "that a huge part of loan amount sanctioned by the consortium of banks as working capital was siphoned off and diverted by Cethar Ltd, its chairman and its managing director to their subsidiaries, family members and various companies as bad debts." "It was revealed that a substantial part of the loan money was transferred to NSK Builders Pvt Ltd in the guise of constructions," the central probe agency alleged.