The Enforcement Directorate has attached the assets, worth over Rs.122 crore, of four Coimbatore-based companies for alleged involvement in a multi-crore lottery scam. The main accused in the case ran lottery business in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and north-eastern States.
According to the ED, the money laundering investigation against main accused Santiago Martin and his firms was initiated after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet against him and others at Kochi in Kerala.
The agency said the accused persons caused a loss of Rs. 4,500 crore to the Sikkim government, in conspiracy with some officials of the Sikkim Lottery Department. The ED probe purportedly established that various manipulations by partnership firm M.J. Associates, in which Martin and co-accused N. Jayamurughan were partners, resulted in unlawful financial gain to its partners.
“The assets of Daison Land & Development, Charles Realtors, Martin Multi Projects and Daison Luxury Villas belonging to Martin have been provisionally attached pending confirmation from adjudicating authority,” said an ED official.
It is alleged that Martin ran a Rs. 7000-crore lottery business in different parts of the country. In Karnataka, he and his associates face allegations of illegal lottery operations using chits instead of printed tickets to evade detection. Martin — who faced over 30 cases in Kerala — allegedly ran the business in conspiracy with several police officers.
Martin’s former employee Pari Ranjan was arrested by the Karnataka Police last May for running a single-digit lottery business despite a ban since 2007.