ED attaches 45 group properties in MMTC fraud case

ED attaches 45 group properties; assets worth over Rs 363 crore in MMTC fraud case

In a separate case registered under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the ED said it also slapped a penalty of about Rs 222 crore on the MBS group

Representative Photo. Credit: Twitter/@dir_ed

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said it has attached assets worth over Rs 363 crore of a jewellery firm in a money laundering case linked to an alleged fraud against public sector enterprise MMTC.

Forty-five immovable properties of MBS Jewellers Private Limited, MBS Impex Private Limited, Sukesh Gupta, Anurag Gupta, Neetu Gupta, Vandana Gupta and their other group entities have been provisionally attached under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, it said in a statement.

The ED case against the accused was made out on the basis of a Hyderabad CBI Anti-Corruption Bureau FIR and chargesheet (filed in 2014) against Sukesh Gupta and others for "defrauding" MMTC Limited (Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation) in purchase of gold bullion under the buyer's credit scheme.

"Sukesh Gupta, in active connivance with few officials of MMTC Hyderabad, continuously lifted gold without forex cover and without adequate security deposits.

"His dues were consistently misreported to the MMTC head office and without squaring off the existing losses, his firms continued lifting gold from MMTC for their personal gain and thereby caused a loss of public money to the tune of Rs 504.34 crore (including interest up to May 31, 2021, of Rs 277.52 crore) to the MMTC," the ED alleged.

"Sukesh Gupta colluded with various officers of MMTC Hyderabad and painted a wrong picture of his accounts and kept on lifting gold to carry on its business as usual," the agency said.

"While MMTC ultimately suffered a massive loss, the business of Sukesh Gupta flourished and ran with huge profit," it claimed.

On the basis of his business profile, the ED said, he took loans and struck real estate deals and grew his business in the name of various related companies.

"All through the investigation, the conduct of Sukesh Gupta has been evasive and non-cooperative and he has failed to discharge the burden of proof imposed on him under the PMLA," it said.

In a separate case registered under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the ED said it also slapped a penalty of about Rs 222 crore on the MBS group.

"Sukesh Gupta also entered into a OTS (one-time settlement) with MMTC in 2019 but as per the latest reports from MMTC, Sukesh Gupta did not deposit any funds, and the OTS has failed," it claimed.

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