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Two held in trade-based money-laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate Office in Mumbai. File photo   | Photo Credit: PAUL NORONHA

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested two persons for their alleged involvement in a trade-based money-laundering scam, in which ₹1,500 crore was sent overseas in the guise of import of a fake ‘customised’ software.

The arrested have been identified as Deepak Agarwal and Ayush Goyal. The agency has got three-day custody of Mr. Agarwal. The probe is based on an FIR registered by the Andhra Pradesh police against one Vaddi Mahesh and others, on a complaint from the Income-Tax Department.

The agency alleged that Mr. Mahesh, in collusion with others, had incorporated shell firms and companies in India and opened bank accounts in their names. Funds were received from various persons, including Mr. Agarwal, Mr. Goyal, Vikas Gupta and Vinit Goenka, and deposited in those bank accounts for further transfer to those of his shell companies.

Subsequently, the funds were remitted to various companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and China in the guise of payments for the import of ‘customised’ software. The accused had prepared forged invoices purportedly raised by the overseas entities in the name of his Indian companies and had arranged fake certificates with the help of chartered accountants.

The chartered accountants certified that the software was downloaded in their presence and the certificates were submitted to the banks as proof of import.

Mr. Agarwal is the director of one of the Hong Kong-based companies that had received foreign remittances equivalent to about ₹300 crore. Mr. Goyal had supplied cash to Mr. Mahesh and instructed him to remit the funds abroad.

The agency had earlier arrested the ‘kingpin’ in the case named Bhimender Kumar Goyal, who is lodged in the Tihar jail.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 8:00:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-held-in-trade-based-money-laundering-case/article34021680.ece

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