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ED Mumbai arrests businessman in income tax refund fraud of ₹263 crore

May 20, 2024 

Rajesh Brijlal Batreja diverted part of Proceeds of Crime to outside India under the guise of investment from Dubai

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), Mumbai Zonal Office arrested Rajesh Brijlal Batreja on May 16, 2024, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, the ED officials said in a statement late May 19 evening.

Mr. Batreja is arrested in a case of Income Tax Refund fraud of ₹263 crore.

“Mr. Batreja was instrumental in diverting part of Proceeds of Crime (PoC) of ₹55.50 crore to outside India and round-tripping part of said PoC in two entities in India under the guise of investment from Dubai,” the ED officials said.

Earlier, three accused persons were arrested in this case including Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Patil and Rajesh Shetty who are presently in judicial custody.

“The ED initiated an investigation based on FIR registered by CBI under various sections of IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1986 against Mr. Adhikari and others for fraudulently generating and issuing TDS refunds from Income Tax Department to the tune of ₹263.95 crore. During the investigation it was revealed that Mr. Batreja helped Mr. Adhikari in diverting PoC of ₹55.50 crore into three shell companies in order to convert the same into cash for sending it outside India by hawala channel,” an ED official informed.

After the diversion of PoC, Mr. Batreja also assisted Mr. Adhikari in concealing the proceeds of crime and later in placement and layering of the said siphoned-off PoC by incorporating firms with the help of a local person in Dubai to project the same as untainted.

The investigation also revealed that Mr. Batreja has further invested part of the said siphoned-off PoC in the two Indian companies based in Mumbai and Gurugram under the guise of share investment by making cross border remittances.

“Search operation was also conducted on May 16, 2024 at the office premise of said 2 Indian companies and digital devise was seized,” an ED official said.

Mr. Batreja was arrested for his involvement in dealing with proceeds of crime under the provisions of PMLA, 2002 on May 16, 2024, and was produced before the Special Court (PMLA), Mumbai on May 17, 2024. The court has granted custody of Mr. Batreja to the ED till May 22, 2024.

Earlier in this case, immovable and movable properties to the tune of ₹168 crore have been identified, seized and attached so far. “Prosecution Complaint has also been filed on September 11, 2023, against Mr. Adhikari and 10 others, cognizance of which was also been taken by the Special (PMLA) Court. Further investigation is under progress,” the ED official said.

[The Hindu]

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