The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has claimed to have blown the lid of a Rs 675 crore money laundering racket involving diamantaires from Surat and Hong Kong.
Official sources said they ran the racket in the guise of importing and exporting synthetic diamonds from the Surat Special Economic Zone (SurSEZ).
The money laundering racket came to light when three persons running a jewelry manufacturing unit, Karolina Trading Private Limited, were caught illegally diverting cut and polished diamonds valued at Rs 1.34 crore from SurSEZ to the domestic tariff area (DTA) on December 9.
The accused, Rakesh Rampuria and Sagar Shah who ran Karolina Trading at SurSEZ, and one Vikash Chopra, were arrested by the DRI officials from the exit gate of the SurSEZ at Sachin.
They recovered Rs 1.34 crore worth cut and polished diamonds that were transported outside the SEZ area illegally. Till now, natural diamonds worth over Rs 16 crore have been diverted from the SurSEZ.
The DRI on Tuesday produced the three at the Surat District and Sessions Court, which granted a two-day custodial remand to them.
In its application before the court, DRI stated that the accused were in touch with some unknown people in Hong Kong and that they were acting on their instructions received on the Whatsapp group.
Since they launched the unit in the SEZ, the accused had imported synthetic or lab created diamonds i.e. Moissanite diamond (It is made of silicon carbide and is almost as hard as real diamond) in the guise of natural cut and polished diamonds worth Rs 1,016 crore and that they made remittances to the tune of Rs 675 crore.
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