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Fertilizer scam: ED to identify assets of accused

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated the process of identifying properties for attachment in connection with the money laundering investigation into the alleged scam in the large-scale import of fertilizers and their raw materials by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) at highly inflated rates.

Preliminary findings have indicated the “proceeds of the crime” to be worth about ₹900 crore. However, the amount may go up. The agency also has to submit the first chargesheet in the case soon.

The ED is conducting the money laundering probe on the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Among the accused persons are IFFCO managing director U.S. Awasthi, then Indian Potash Limited (IPL) managing director Pravinder Singh Gahlaut, their sons and others, including Rajiv Saxena, who is also an accused in the ₹3,700-crore AgustaWestland case.

The agency recently arrested Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Amarendra Dhari Singh in the same case. He was the senior vice-president of Jyoti Trading Corporation (Dubai) through which the suspect funds were allegedly routed.

It was alleged that from 2007 to 2014, huge quantities of fertilizers and raw materials were imported by IFFCO and IPL from several foreign suppliers at highly inflated rates. The quoted rates included the commissions that were to be paid to Mr. Awasthi and Mr. Gahlaut.

The FIR alleged that about ₹685 crore of illegal commissions were paid. The funds were channelled via the companies of Mr. Saxena and some others. A part of it went directly to the sons of Mr. Awasthi and Mr. Gahlaut, who live in the United States.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 3:33:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/fertilizer-scam-ed-to-identify-assets-of-accused/article34816960.ece

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