The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has seized Rs 26.59 crore worth of cash, fixed deposits and gold and diamond jewellery after it raided a jewellery group in a money laundering probe linked to an alleged fraud with a Kerala-based bank. The business premises and bank lockers of Atlas Jewellery India Ltd (AJIL) in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were searched on January 20 and 22 in a case of cheating South Indian Bank's Round South Branch in Thrissur, Kerala.
The probe by the federal agency was taken up after studying an FIR of the state police that was field against AJIL, its promoters M M Ramachandran and Indira Ramachandran. The ED said in a statement that "with an intention to cheat the bank, they (promoters) planned and presented forged documents to the bank and availed loan worth Rs 242.40 crore during the period 21.03.2013 to 26.09.2018 and have not repaid the money."
ED said it initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered by the Kerala Police, Thrissur East Police Station, Thrissur against Atlas Jewellery, M M Ramachandran and Indira Ramachandran under various Sections of IPC, 1860 for cheating South Indian Bank, Round South Branch, Thrissur, Kerala.
"M M Ramachandran had invested Rs 100 crore by way of purchase of equity shares of Atlas Jewellery India Limited, New Delhi and transferred another Rs 14 crore in the escrow account with Axis Bank, New Delhi," the ED said.
During the raids, it said, a total seizure of Rs 26.59 crore in the form of fixed deposits, Indian currency, gold, silver and diamond jewellery has been made.