The Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Union Finance Ministry is conducting an investigation into the manipulation of prices of pulses in 2015. A number of firms and individuals are being investigated. Many of them have now been called for questioning by the ED officials. Among those called is Himanshu Kaji, chief operating officer of Edelweiss group.
The allegation is that some companies used their overseas offices to conclude transactions and the investigators are looking at evidences to know if the companies were involved in hoarding activities as well. In the case of Edelweiss, there is a report by the income tax department which has held that the group and Glencore were involved in the manipulation of prices of pulses by them and ED is also probing from the perspective of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
For the record, Edelweiss had in 2017 itself closed its overseas commodities business. The income tax report has mentioned a host of companies and individuals as being involved in the scam. These include Jindal Group comprising Dalip Jindal, Pradip Jindal, Jindal Agro, Vikas Gupta, Superior Group, Gunn Enterprises, Charles India Private Limited.
Rashesh Shah, Chairman, Edelweiss group had earlier been at the Enforcement Directorate to be questioned in connection with a separate FEMA violation case involving Capstone Forex Pvt Ltd.
The case is old and relates to transactions carried out in 2015. Only when the ED releases its investigation report, will it be known if a case is being made out and if these entities will be proceeded against legally.