Delhi: Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has busted an inter-state gang of racketeers indulging in preparing and sending forged summons/ notices to the general public in the name of this Directorate for the purpose of extortion of money.
Cautioning the people against the "unscrupulous elements" who have been trying to "forge ED's summons with an intention to cheat and extort money from the gullible victims", the agency said that ED has evolved a fool-proof mechanism for issuance of summons for the recording of statements under PMLA as well as FEMA and that the summons approved by the competent authority are generated electronically and can be authenticated by a unique QR code mentioned on the summons.
The ED, in a statement, said, that it came to its notice that an interstate gang, targeting high-profile persons and businessmen of the society and threatening them in the name of ED by sending them forged summons/notices, is active.
"This gang issued forged summons of the Directorate to the President and Director of a reputed foreign company based in Mumbai, namely Nippon Paints, directing them to appear at the Delhi Office of the Directorate and attend proceedings u/s 50 of PMLA, 2002. Thereafter, the members of the gang contacted the officers of that company and told them that they have good contacts with some officers of ED and they could settle the matter for which they demanded Rs 15-20 crore," the statement said.
ED caught scamsters by laying a trap
The victim company brought this matter to the notice of this Directorate following which a trap was laid and the members of the gang were asked to come to Delhi for purpose of negotiation.
After the gang members agreed to come to Delhi, a joint team of ED and Delhi Police was formed.
The members of the gang including the kingpin of the gang namely Akhilesh Mishra hailing from Mumbai were apprehended from the hotel where they were staying, the agency said.
Other arrested persons include Darshan Harish Joshi, also from Mumbai and Devender Dubey who came in a car with stickers of Govt. of India, pretending himself as an officer of ED and who threatened the representatives of the company to settle the matter otherwise he would arrest them the next day.
"The room of the hotel of kingpin was searched and three more members of the gang were found there. Later on, four more members of the gang were apprehended," the statement said.
A total of ten persons of the said gang namely Akhilesh Mishra(Mumbai), Darshan Harish Joshi (Mumbai), Vinod Patel (Bihar), DharmenderGiri(Delhi), Naresh Mahto(Kolkata), DevenderDubey (Bihar), Ashrar Ali (Delhi), Gajender (Ghazipur, UP) and Vishnu Prasad(Delhi) have been arrested so far.
"The general public is hereby advised to be alert and cautious and verify the genuineness of the summons received by them by checking the QR code and not to fall in the trap of such gangsters," the ED said.