Initiating its first action in the multi-crore StockGuru scam, the Enforcement Directorate has issued attachment orders on properties worth Rs 83 crore of main accused Ullas Prabhakar Khaire and his wife under anti-money laundering laws.
The seized properties, which are spread in various parts of the country like Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Nagpur in Maharashtra, Hyderabad and other cities in Andhra Pradesh and few places in Haryana, include some 'benami' immovable assets that the couple had allegedly purchased on fake identities.
The agency, sources said, will soon issue prohibitory orders on these assets, including cash, jewellery and bank accounts, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED took the latest action after it recorded the statement of the duo, lodged in Tihar jail here in judicial custody, sometime back and went through the probe reports of other agencies in this regard.
The agency's action to attach these properties under PMLA is aimed at depriving the accused of the benefits of these assets which are alleged to have been created through the "proceeds of crime" and duping investors of their hard earned money.
The sources said apart from the latest attachment orders, some more properties would soon be frozen under the same laws.
The agency had registered a money laundering case against Ullas Prabhakar alias Lokeshwar Dev and his wife Raksha alias Priyanka Saraswat earlier this year after they were caught by Delhi Police.
Acting in the same case, the CBI, last week, arrested Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Yogendra Mittal for allegedly receiving bribes from Khaire after raids were conducted by the I-T department against him some years back.
During the process of Mittal's arrest, CBI had also conducted searches on an ED officer, posted in Delhi, in this case as he has family relations with Mittal and he joined the ED on deputation from the Income Tax department.
Ullas and Raksha were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the Delhi Police on November 10 last year from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra for allegedly duping around two lakh investors from seven states of nearly Rs 493 crore by promising them high returns through their firm M/s Stock Guru India dealing in stock market.
The couple had floated StockGuru India in 2010, allegedly under the false identities of Lokeshwar Dev and Priyanka Saraswat Dev.
They allegedly lured people into investing in the firm by promising them high returns of 20 per cent per month up