Gold ingots and bars weighing 50 kg and worth about Rs 14 crore have been attached by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe against Tamil Nadu sand mining baron J Sekhar Reddy and others. The case was registered post demonetisation. The central probe agency said it has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), attaching the gold it had recovered after searches in this case. The total value of the attached gold, weighing 49.48 kg, is over Rs 13.96 crore, it said. “In addition to this attachment, till date, the ED has attached Rs 10 crore in demonetised currencies, 6.5 kg gold bullion, Rs 34 crore of new currency and 30 kg of gold. The total attachments in this case adds up to about Rs 68.5 crore,” the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement. The ED, in March this year, had arrested Reddy and his two alleged associates K Sreenivasulu and P Kumar in this case. Reddy was earlier arrested by the CBI too in the same case of alleged black money generation post the note ban. The ED had filed a criminal complaint against Reddy and others based on a CBI FIR in the case which was registered after the I-T department first searched his premises and those of his associates in November last year.
The tax department has made one of the biggest detection of alleged unaccounted income of over Rs 142 crore in this case with the seizure of Rs 34 crore in new notes and 177 kg of gold, post demonetisation. The Reddy case and the other involving Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon are being probed by at least four agencies–the ED, the Income Tax Department, the CBI and the Delhi Police– and are considered the two most high-profile black money cases being investigated in the aftermath of the note ban that was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.