ED arrests director of Hong Kong based company in PMLA case

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New Delhi, Jan 12

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Wednesday, said that it has arrested Anup Nagaral, Director of a Hong Kong-based company, in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) case.

The case pertains to alleged fraud of USD 249.572 million committed on banks under the guise of Merchant Trade.

Initially, a case against the accused was lodged by Bengaluru police at High Ground Police Station in 2009. They found the accused was also involved in money laundering and informed the concerned agencies.

An ED official said that they initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the High Ground Police Station, Bengaluru City.

The probe agency's investigation revealed that FMPL and FEIPL did not honour the tripartite agreements that they had entered with Spice trading corporation Ltd. (STCL) and overseas buyers and sellers.

FMPL and FEIPL had guaranteed the payments to be made by the overseas buyers. Naveen Sriram, Chairman of FMPL & FEIPL and Sudheer Sriram, Managing Director of FMPL & FEIPL had executed deed of Personal and Corporate Guarantee in favour of STCL against the latter agreeing to provide finance for the Merchandise trade transactions and this corporate guarantee could be invoked by MSTCL in the event of any default in repayment of amount due to STCL.

STCL established irrevocable LCs for the Usance period of 90 days.

However, the LCs were devolved due to non-payment by overseas buyers which was guaranteed by M/s FMPL & M/s FEIPL causing wrongful loss of US$ 249.572 Million to M/s STCL. Assets worth Rs 185.67 crore have already been attached under PMLA.

The attached proceeds of crime are immovable properties located in Maharashtra, Punjab, New Delhi, Gujarat, Bangalore and Bellary.

In 2019, they had filed a Prosecution Complaint (charge sheet), before a Special Court under PMLA in Bangalore.

The ED official said that Anup Nagaral, is Director of one of the entities i.e. M/s. Hoewelai Jinsu, Hong Kong, SAR, China Ltd. in the buyer leg of tripartite merchandise trade. He is one of the accused in the Prosecution Complaint filed by ED. LR dated 28.07.2021 was issued for serving of summons to Anup Nagaral, Director of M/s. Hoewelai Jinsu, Hong Kong, SAR, China Ltd.

Further, Anup Nagaral returned to India and appeared before CBI. The CBI arrested Anup Nagaral in the month of December, 2021 and produced him before CBI Court where he was enlarged on bail.

As Anup Nagaral was not appearing before the PMLA court for trial, the Spl PMLA Court issued Warrant of Arrest on December 31.

"The Warrant has been executed and Anup Nagaral has been produced before the Hon'ble Court. The Hon'ble Special Court has ordered for Judicial custody of the accused till January 17," said the ED official.

Further probe in the matter is on.


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