The ED said today that it has attached assets worth over Rs 320 crore, including showrooms across Tamil Nadu and residential premises, of a Chennai-based jewellery firm in connection with an alleged bank loan money laundering probe case. In a statement, the agency, said it has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for attachment of Rs 328 crore worth assets of Ms Nathella Sampath Jewellery Private Limited its promoters. The firm is in the business of gold jewellery, silver articles and jewellery made of precious and semi-precious stones and it has a chain of showrooms across various locations in the Tamil Nadu capital like T Nagar, Velachery, Tambaram, Anna Nagar and Puraswalkam as also in the cities of Hosur and Vellore.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it registered a criminal case of money laundering based on a CBI FIR which had booked its own case after the SBI complained to it and “alleged that the promoters of Ms NSJPL had unduly enjoyed bank borrowings in the form of cash credit facilities to the tune of several crores from a consortium of banks (led by State Bank of India) for their company Ms NSJPL from 2009.”
“It was further alleged that the promoters of Ms NSJPL have been mis-representing and falsifying the books of accounts and financial statements of the company for the purpose of availing credit facilities from the lenders with a clear criminal and malafide intent to cheat and defraud the lenders.
“The promoters of the firm and the other accused indulged in such criminal activities and have caused wrongful loss of about Rs 380 crore (as on February 1,2018) to the consortium of banks and a corresponding gain for themselves,” the ED charged. The central probe agency said it has attached the company showrooms at Tambaram in Chennai, a property at Luz Church Road, Mylapore, one at Landons Road in Kilpauk, an agricultural land at Minjur and a school at Ambattur in Chennai worth about Rs 113 crore.
It has also attached a residential property at Kilpauk, a ‘kalyana mandapam’ at Koyambedu, showrooms at Anna Nagar and Purasawalkam, registered office at T Nagar, beach house at Uthandi and other commercial and residential land and buildings in Chennai worth about Rs 215 crore. “Investigation revealed that the promoters of the company on their own, and by using the firms and trusts belonging to their family, routed and layered the crime proceeds and thus they have been found to have indulged in the offence of money laundering,” the ED alleged.