LUCKNOW: The Enforcement Directorate, Lucknow Zone has registered a PMLA case against Anee Bullion Industries Private Limited and its 18 other associated companies on Friday.
Its director Ajeet Kumar Gupta and 18 others have also been booked by the agency. The ED took up the case on the basis of 30 FIRs registered against the firm for duping people of around Rs 1,000 crore. The FIRs have been registered in different police stations of the state including Lucknow, Sultanpur, Amethi, Pratapgarh, Rae Bareli, Ayodhya and Barabanki. Gupta was arrested by joint teams of STF and Lucknow police on July 16, 2020.
ED sources said that Gupta’s wife is an IFS officer who has also been named in several FIRs registered by the investors in Lucknow and Sultanpur and is under the ED scanner.
The ED said that prima facie it came to the fore that funds were diverted and misappropriated by Anee Bullion Industries Private limited and its 18 other associated companies through its members and other persons.
Explaining the modus operandi, the ED said that the company first floated many ponzi schemes in various places of Uttar Pradesh through various companies Anee Bullion Traders, Anee Commodity Brokers Private limited, Eye Vision India Credit Co-operative Society Limited, Anee Bullion Industries, along with several others.
The company also lured the investors to invest in the company assuring a good return on their investments in the form of plots. The company even went on to issue post-dated cheques to convince the investors. However, the investors got apprehensive when the cheques bounced, said an ED official.
The company also duped investors by showing forged documents of land/plots being registered in the name of the company, the ED said.
ED officials privy to the probe said that neither the company returned the invested amount nor gave any plots as promised to the investors.
It also came to the fore during investigation, that the directors of the companies have diverted the investors’ money to other related companies and used it for creation of movable/immovable assets in the name of their close relatives.
A senior official privy to the ED probe said that efforts are on to identify the movable and immovable properties of the society and related persons as they are liable to be attached under Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002. The role of other members of society and related private persons will also be investigated by the premier financial investigating agency.