Free Press Journal

Indore: ED files chargesheet in multi-crore Katni money laundering scam


Indore: The sub zonal office of Enforcement Directorate here on Tuesday filed chargesheet in the multi-crore  Katni hawala and money laundering case that was reported from Katni district in which it alleged that funds to the tune of Rs 500 crore were illegally routed by the accused, using fake bank accounts, post demonetisation.

The chargesheet has been filed against brothers Satish and Manish Saraogi, their close aid Manvendra Mistry and their associates. ED has already attached property worth Rs 2.64 crore they raised through money laundering. This is second incident within a week wherein ED chargsheeted the money launderers. On July 4, the ED had filed chargesheet against terminated IAS couple Arvind, wife Tinu Joshi and four others in money laundering case.

On Tuesday, 861-page chargesheet was filed under Section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, before special PMLA court in Jabalpur against Messers Nirnidhi Marketing Private Limited, Satish Saraogi, Manish Saraogi and Manvendra Mistry.

The Katni hawala case was busted in July 2016 when police lodged 4 FIRs under Sections 420, 467 and 471 of IPC. The police said transaction of crores of rupees took place from Axis Bank accounts opened in the name of poor people by accused without their knowledge. Subsequently, Katni police filed FIRs against Saraogi brothers and Mistry and others for fraudulently operating bank accounts. On the basis of police FIR, ED booked a case on January 19, 2017, against the company, Saraogi brothers and Mistry.

ED investigation

ED investigation revealed that the accused formed fake companies on paper to show transactions of their unaccounted money. The accounts of these bogus companies were opened in Axis Bank. This was done to route the unaccounted money into bogus companies while creating a web of financial transactions to hide origin of money generation. The proceeds of crime projected as untainted money were used to purchase properties and other assets.

Manish and Satish Saraogi used these firms and banks accounts to sell illegally diverted subsidised coal obtained from SECL into open market for personal gains. Huge sums were laundered through three accounts of firms – M/s Mahadev Trading and M/S SK Minerals.

These accounts were opened fraudulently and finally integrated into account of M/S Nirnidhi Marketing Pvt Ltd controlled by Satish Saraogi. The same amount was used to purchase immovable properties worth Rs 2.64 crore located in Katni, Panna and Raipur (Chhattisgarh). The properties are provisionally attached.

Whistleblower SP Tiwari transferred

The case was exposed by then Superintendent of Police Gourav Tiwari in July 2016 by lodgeing 4 FIRs. But as punishment he was transferred from Katni to Chhindwara. Recently, he was transferred to Dewas. Before joining the post in Dewas, he got another transfer order to joint at Ratlam.