PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail

PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail
PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail

Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi was today granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case.

Special judge Arun Bharadwaj, who had reserved the order on Qureshi’s application on December 4, gave him the relief on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of a like amount.

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier this month opposed the bail plea of Qureshi, saying he could hamper the ongoing investigation, after which the court had reserved its verdict.

ED special counsel N K Matta had alleged that Qureshi, arrested on August 25, should not be granted the relief as the allegations levelled against him were grave and there were chances that he may flee from justice if enlarged on bail.

In his bail application, the accused had told the court that no purpose would be served by keeping him in further custody.

He had said that the probe in the case was over and he was not required further by the ED.

The ED had earlier claimed in the court that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees….”

The agency had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi-based hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1.

According to the agency, Qureshi was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) a he was “not cooperating in the probe”.

( Source – PTI )

Court seeks ED’s response on bizman’s plea

Court seeks ED's response on bizman's plea
Court seeks ED’s response on bizman’s plea

A Delhi court today sought a response from Enforcement Directorate on an application filed by Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan seeking his production before it through video conferencing in a Rs 5,000-crore money laundering case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma directed the agency to file its reply by December 4 when it will hear the matter.

The accused, currently in the judicial custody, has cited security reasons in his application seeking video conferencing facility.

Dhawan, who was arrested on November 1, was sent to custody on November 15 by the court after special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana said he was not needed for further custodial interrogation.

The ED had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of Gujarat-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) in the purchase of several properties and helped in misuse and diversion of the credit facilities of several bank totalling Rs 5,000 crore.

“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused from SBL group.

Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” according to the agency.

The lower court had on November 14 issued non-bailable warrants against two other persons — SBL directors Nitin and Chetan Sandesara. The agency told the court that Chetan may have left the country.

Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The firm and Dhawan were also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials in an earlier criminal complaint.

The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

It had alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR had also alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016. The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.

( Source – PTI )

SC rejects bail plea of lawyer in money laundering case

The Supreme Court today rejected the bail plea of lawyer Rohit Tandon, who was arrested in connection with an alleged money laundering case post demonetisation.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud dismissed the bail plea of Tandon, who was arrested after a raid on his law firm in connection with a black money probe that had led to the alleged seizure of Rs 13.6 crore.

He was allegedly involved in illegal conversion of nearly Rs 60 crore demonetised currency.

Earlier during the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi seeking bail for Tandon, had said that the concept of bail is rule and jail is exception has been turned upside down in this case.

Rohatgi had argued that no case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was made out against Tandon.

He said Tandon was allegedly found with unaccounted cash but that is not an offence under PMLA as the Act deals with proceeds of crime.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta had vehemently opposed the bail plea and submitted that Tandon was converting the illegal cash and causing harm to the government of India which had cracked down on black money.

Tandon has sought regular bail on the ground that he needs to look after his ailing mother.

The apex court had on September 4 refused to extend the three-week interim bail granted by the Delhi High Court to the lawyer.

He was granted interim bail on August 10 by the High Court from where he had withdrawn his plea for regular bail.

Tandon had earlier moved a fresh bail application before the High Court which on May 5 had rejected his bail plea.

A trial court had earlier denied bail to Tandon on the ground that he was alleged to have been involved in a “white collar crime” with other accused in a “well-planned” manner.

The Enforcement Directorate had arrested him after a raid on his law firm in connection with a black money probe that had led to the alleged seizure of Rs 13.6 crore.

Besides him, some other accused were also arrested in connection with a separate Prevention of Money Laundering Act case.

SC rejects bail plea of lawyer in money laundering case( Source – PTI )

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case
Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan was today sent to 14-day judicial custody in a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case by a Delhi court.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma passed the order while rejecting the Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking his custody for five more days to interrogate him.

During the arguments, advocate for ED Nitesh Rana told the court that the agency had recently received certain documents from banks and the accused was required to be confronted with them.

The accused, however, opposed the application saying the ED had already got enough time to interrogate him.

The agency had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of a private firm, Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL), for purchase of several properties and helped in misusing and diverting the credit facilities of several bank loans totalling Rs 5,000 crore.

“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused (Dhawan) from SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” he said.

ED informed the court that the proceedings to issue non- bailable warrants against two other co-accused persons, SBL directors Nitin and Chetan Sandesara, was in the process.

It also told the court that Chetan was likely to have left the country.

Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving the Gujarat-based pharma firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Dhawan was on the radar of the agency for allegedly aiding bank loan frauds related to Sterling Biotech, the Vadodara-based company, and few other similar alleged illegal transactions, the ED claimed.

The firm and Dhawan are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.

The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.

( Source  – PTI )

Don’t let shark run away for catching small fish: Court to ED

Don't let shark run away for catching small fish: Court to ED
Don’t let shark run away for catching small fish: Court to ED

“Don’t let the shark run away while you are busy in catching the small fish,” a Delhi court told the Enforcement Directorate today.

While allowing the ED to have the custody of Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan for two more days in a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case, Additional Sessions Judge Siddharth Sharma directed the ED to consider making Dhawan an approver.

“Don’t let the shark run away while you are busy in catching the small fish… There must be some bank officials as well. Go after them as well,” the judge said, noting that Dhawan was the only accused arrested in the case so far.

The observation was made after the court was told by ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana that the proceedings to issue non-bailable warrants against two of the main accused persons — Nitin and Chetan Sandesara, the directors of Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) — was in the process.

Dhawan was produced before the court on the expiry of his earlier 7-day custody and the prosecutor sought seven more days to quiz him.

He claimed that Dhawan did not cooperate during the probe and was required to be confronted with evidences so that more property bought from the proceeds of crime, could be obtained.

Dhawan was arrested on October 31 and sent to 7-day ED custody on November 1 by a Delhi court which had said that “a huge amount of public money was allegedly syphoned off.”

The ED had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of the firm for purchase of several properties and helped in misusing and diverting the credit facilities of several bank loans totalling Rs 5,000 crore.

“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused (Dhawan) from SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” the ED had alleged and said that Chetan Sandesara was likely to have left the country.

The defence, however, opposed the remand application, saying the arrest was illegal as he has always cooperated in the investigation.

Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving the Gujarat-based pharma firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was on the ED’s radar for allegedly aiding bank loan frauds related to SBL, the Vadodara-based company and few other similar alleged illegal transactions, the ED claimed.

The firm and Dhawan are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint. The agency had carried out searches against Dhawan and a former Congress MLA in Delhi in August.

The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets. The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.

( Source – PTI )

VVIP chopper: Court denies bail to woman director

VVIP chopper: Court denies bail to woman director
VVIP chopper: Court denies bail to woman director

A Delhi court today dismissed the bail plea of a woman director of two Dubai-based firms in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, saying the allegations against her were serious.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar dismissed the bail application of Shivani Saxena, an “active” director of Dubai-based Ms UHY Saxena and Ms Matrix Holdings, saying it was not a fit case for bail.

“Gravity of offence and seriousness of allegations, as levelled against accused coupled with role played by her, cannot be ignored at this stage even for the prima facie view for disposing the present bail application,” the court said.

The court had recently issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant against Shivani’s husband Rajiv Saxena, who has been absconding.

The advocate appearing for Enforcement Directorate, N K Matta, had opposed her plea saying if she was granted relief, she could flee from justice and hamper the ongoing probe.

He had told the court that Shivani had not cooperated with the probe, which was at an initial stage.

In her bail application, the accused had claimed that she was not required in the case because investigation was complete as the charge sheet has already been filed.

The ED had on September 13 filed a charge sheet against Shivani, Rajiv and others.

Shivani Saxena and her husband are residents of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, an archipelago which is home to the most expensive properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the charge sheet said.

It alleged that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities “through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares, among others” in this case.

The agency claimed that its probe had found that AgustaWestland, United Kingdom, had “paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks” through two Tunisia-based firms.

“These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others,” the charge sheet had alleged.

The ED had also arrested in this case Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan who is currently out on bail. It had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people in its money laundering FIR.

On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.

( Source – PTI )

ED files charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shah

ED files charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shah
ED files charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shah

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today filed a charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah and a suspected hawala dealer in connection with a 2005 money laundering case filed against him for alleged terror financing.

The final report, filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, also named the alleged hawala dealer Mohammed Alsam Wani, who is in judicial custody along with Shah.

The case dates back to August 2005 in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had earlier arrested Wani.

Wani had then claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah, following which the ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the duo.

Shah was arrested by the ED on July 25. The agency arrested Wani on August 6.

( Source – PTI )

SC notice to ED on bail plea of ex-Noida Authority chief engineer

SC notice to ED on bail plea of ex-Noida Authority chief engineer
SC notice to ED on bail plea of ex-Noida Authority chief engineer

The Supreme Court today directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to respond to the bail plea of former Noida Authority chief engineer Yadav Singh who has been chargesheeted in connection with a money laundering case.

A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the ED and asked it to file its response within two weeks.

Singh has approached the apex court challenging the order passed by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court denying him bail in the matter.

In his plea before the Allahabad High Court, he had contended that he was technically entitled to bail since the chargesheet was not submitted by the probe agency within the statutory period.

However, the high court had dismissed his petition considering the ED’s submission that the chargesheet was filed on time.

In 2015, the ED had slapped money laundering charges against Singh, who was engineer-in-chief of the Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority, on the basis of an FIR lodged by the CBI.

Earlier, an Income Tax raid in November 2014 had revealed that Singh’s assets were hugely disproportionate to his income, following which he was suspended by the then Uttar Pradesh government.

In July 2015, the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to investigate the case stating that the allegations were most serious.

( Source – PTI )

Delhi HC notice to govt, ED on meat exporter Qureshi’s arrest

Delhi HC notice to govt, ED on meat exporter Qureshi's arrest
Delhi HC notice to govt, ED on meat exporter Qureshi’s arrest

The Delhi High Court today sought response of the government and the Enforcement Directorate on businessman Moin Akhtar Qureshi’s plea challenging his arrest in a money laundering case.

A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Nazmi Waziri issued notice to the government and the ED, asking them to file the reply within five days.

The controversial meat exporter, Qureshi, was arrested on August 25 and sent to five-day custody of the ED by a trial court the next day for thorough investigation in the case against him and others.

During the hearing, advocate R K Handoo, appearing for Qureshi, contended that he has been illegally detained by the ED. He claimed Qureshi had been directly arrested when he was called for questioning and was not informed about the grounds of arrest.

Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, who also appeared for ED, said that there was due compliance of Constitution mandate regarding informing a person about his arrest.

The bench, however, said a person cannot be taken into custody without telling him the grounds and giving him an effective legal aid.

“Information is not just to make a person read the grounds of arrest. You have to give him a copy of it,” the bench said and asked the Centre and ED to show the official records pertaining to the arrest on the next date of hearing on September 13.

The agency had told the trial court that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees and one of the witnesses has stated that nearly Rs 1.75 crore have been exported by the accused from him and his friend in lieu of the help provided to him in a CBI case.”

It had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1, owned by one D S Anand.

According to the agency, Qureshi was arrested late night on August 25 here under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after “he was not cooperating in the probe”.

( Source – PTI )

Kashmiri separatist case: Wani sent to jail till Aug 31

Kashmiri separatist case: Wani sent to jail till Aug 31
Kashmiri separatist case: Wani sent to jail till Aug 31

Alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani, arrested in connection with a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah, was sent today to judicial custody (JC) by a Delhi court on a plea of the probe agency.

Duty Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur allowed the plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after advocate N K Matta, appearing for the investigating agency, submitted that Wani be send to JC. He was remanded in JC till August 31.

Thirty-six-year-old Wani was produced before the court on expiry of his two-week custodial interrogation, the maximum the ED could be granted under the law.

He was arrested on August 6 by the ED after a sessions court here had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him and sent him to eight-day ED custody.

An open-ended NBW, unlike the NBW, does not carry a time limit for its execution.

According to an ED official, Wani was arrested in Srinagar with the help of the state police and later brought to Delhi.

The ED had issued multiple summonses for his appearance in the case, but he did not present himself before it.

Shabir Shah was arrested by the agency from Srinagar on July 26.

The ED action against the two was in pursuance of an August 2005 case in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Wani. He had allegedly claimed to have passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.

In 2010, a Delhi court had cleared Wani of terror funding charges, but had convicted him under the Arms Act.

The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani.

Wani, at the time of his arrest, was allegedly found in possession of Rs 63 lakh received by him through hawala channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition, on August 26, 2005.

During questioning, he had told the agency that out of that amount, Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar Abu Baqar, and that the rest of it was his commission, it was stated in the FIR.

( Source – PTI  )