Indore: In a jolt to three kingpins of Rs 500-crore Katni hawala case, Enforcement Directorate’s adjudicating authority has cleared attachment of land worth Rs 2.65 crore in Katni and Raipur. The trio had amassed property though money-laundering during demonetisation.
The Katni Hawala case hogged limelight last year. Sources said that the ED’s adjudicating authority at New Delhi has approved Indore regional office’s November 17, 2017 order of attaching trio’s property. The authority confirmed that the property was purchased from the proceeds of crime and money laundering. Now, the ED officials will initiate process of taking possession of the said property.
On January 13 this year, the ED had registered a case against Satish and Manish Saraogi under the PMLA. On January 20, on this basis four FIRs were lodged by Katni police. The case later acquired political overtones as Katni SP Gourav Tiwari, who ordered lodging of the FIR in the Rs 500 hawala case, was transferred to Chhindwara. The hawala racket was operated through shell companies and fake bank accounts. Sources said that fake accounts were opened in the branch of a private bank in Katni district on fake documents to deposit demonetized currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
On the basis of primary investigation, the ED launched a nation-wide crackdown against shell companies. Searches were carried out at 100 locations across 16 states on April 1. Multiple teams raided over 300 shell companies. Action was initiated under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sources said that during nation-wide operation, the ED officials searched Satish Saraogi’s premises in Katni. Saraogi was one of the owners of Shell Company. Searches were also conducted on broker Manvendra Mishtri’s premises. It has been claimed that he had provided fake documents to the Saraogi brothers.