The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently conducted a series of follow-up search operations at 13 locations in Mumbai, Lucknow, Delhi, and Ahmedabad. The raids were executed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in connection with a money laundering case against drug trafficker Ali Asgar Shirazi and other absconding accused.
During the search, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized a total of Rs. 2.17 Crore in Fixed Deposit Receipts (FDRs) and cash. Incriminating documents related to properties and transaction records associated with opioid medicines were also confiscated. Additionally, various digital devices, including mobile phones and laptops, were seized.
Substantial cash deposits were found
In the investigation, substantial cash deposits were found in accounts linked to Ali Asgar Shirazi and related entities. These deposits prima facie indicate the presence of illegal money earned through the sale of various drugs, such as ketamine and others.
According to ED officials during the investigation revealed that the drug syndicate led by Ali Asgar Shirazi and other absconding accused comprised tele communication companies operating call centers,websites, logistic companies, consultancy firms, and dummy pharma companies. This network engaged in the illegal shipment of opioids from India to foreign countries and the subsequent funneling of the proceeds back to India through various channels.
Members of this syndicate incorporated various companies in the USA
The search operations have exposed that members of this syndicate incorporated various companies in the USA, operating payment gateways. These payment gateways were utilized by the syndicate to channelize the proceeds from the sale of opioids in the USA back to India.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) took custody of the arrested drug trafficker Ali Asgar Shirazi from jail on 5th January and apprehended him in an ECIR registered based on the Mumbai Crime Branch drugs case. During the investigation and interrogation of the accused, ED conducted a search operation.
ED conducted searches at 10 locations in Mumbai
ED conducted searches at 10 locations in Mumbai in October 2023, resulting in the seizure of Rs. 62.61 Lakh in cash and valuables. Various digital devices, along with other incriminating evidence, were also seized during these operations.