The Enforcement Directorate has arrested the son of a former DMK Minister in a money laundering case involving about Rs 97.52 crore, sources said today. According to the sources, Mani Anbazhagan, son of late senior DMK leader and former minister Ko Si Mani, was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act yesterday and later produced before a magistrate court. He was remanded to judicial custody till August 21 and lodged in the Puzhal Central Prison here. During its probe, the ED said it found that foreign exchange of about Rs 75 crore was remitted abroad by eight shell entities on production of alleged forged bills of entry without any physical imports.
Anbazhagan allegedly facilitated opening current accounts on behalf of all the eight accounts with Indian Bank, Thousand Lights Branch here wherein Rs 97,52,99,090.48 was pooled in, the sources said. The money was allegedly “proceeds of crime” relating to scheduled offence of forgery of identity documents, they said. Subsequently, out of such pooled funds, foreign exchange remittances outside the country to the extent of Rs 75,50,71,724 was fraudulently made based on forged import documents, the ED sources said. The rest of the approximately Rs 22 crore was “held up” by the ED as “part proceeds of crime”.
The business and residential premises of the eight entities including that of Mani Anbazhagan, who is suspected to have acted as a “single point of contact”, were also searched by the ED. ED sources said suspecting the authenticity of documents, bank authorities alerted Customs department which in turn tipped off the Directorate. Bank officials, who had received the Account Opening Forms (AOF) for all the eight accounts, had said they got them from Anbazhagan and not directly from the sole proprietors or partners of the business entities concerned, the sources added. The bank filed a complaint with the Chennai police and an FIR was registered on March 6 for several offences under the IPC.