ED Arrests Bharat Papers Director In Money-Laundering Case

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JAMMU, Feb 8: (CNI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested the director of Bharat Papers Limited, Anil Kumar Aggarwal, in connection with an ongoing probe into a money-laundering case in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Aggarwal, a resident of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested on Tuesday night as a follow-up action to the investigation into an alleged loan fraud amounting to Rs 200 crore perpetuated on a consortium of banks, with the State Bank of India (SBI) as the lead bank and the other banks being Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank and Karur Vysya Bank, the officials said.

The ED moved an application through special public prosecutor Ashwani Khajuria in the court of the special judge, anti-corruption (CBI cases) in Jammu, Bala Jyoti, on Wednesday and got seven days’ remand of the accused.

The case owns its origin to an FIR registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Jammu against the Kathua-based Bharat Papers Limited and its directors, including Aggarwal, on February 12, 2020 following a complaint filed by the SBI, Ludhiana (Punjab).

On the basis of the FIR, investigation under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was initiated by the ED on March 31 last year.

The federal agency had conducted searches at the premises of Bharat Papers Limited and various other locations on the basis of the material in its possession, including documents available on record, such as a copy of the FIR, an analysis of bank accounts and the company’s directors.

The forensic audit report available on record has given strong reasons to believe that Aggarwal was involved in the process or activity connected with proceeds of crime and had committed an offence of money laundering, the officials said.

They said the investigation prima facie revealed that the company misused the sanctioned loan amount in a well-designed manner with a well-knitted conspiracy by siphoning off funds meant for business purpose for personal use and wrongful gains.

They said Aggarwal, one of the main directors of Bharat Papers Limited, was looking after the operations and finance of the company, as deduced from the statements given by other directors.

He was actively involved in perpetuating a fraud of Rs 200 crore on the consortium of banks and committed the offence of money laundering by siphoning off a part of the loan amount through bogus entities and illegal sale of machinery by raising bogus invoices, the officials said.

During the course of the investigation, the statements of Aggarwal were recorded on February 1 and February 6, wherein he chose to give evasive replies, which showed his non-cooperation in the investigation, they added.

The officials said the accused was involved in the process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime acquired through entering into a criminal conspiracy and cheating for siphoning off funds availed from the consortium of banks in the form of term loan and cash credit limits. (CNI) Current News of India

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