Mumbai: Nippon Paints targeted by gang posing as probe agency ED; demands 20 crore to settle the matter

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday issued a statement for the general public stating that certain unscrupulous elements have been trying to forge ED’s summons with an intention to cheat and extort money from the gullible victims.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Monday, November 21, 2022, 10:30 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday issued a statement for the general public stating that certain unscrupulous elements have been trying to forge ED’s summons with an intention to cheat and extort money from the gullible victims. It also informed that the agency has evolved a fool-proof mechanism for issuance of a summons for the recording of statements under PMLA as well as FEMA.

The summons approved by the competent authority are generated electronically and can be authenticated by a QR code mentioned on the summons.

The recipient of the summons can verify the genuineness and authenticity of the summons by scanning the QR code. When scanned, the QR code directs them to ED web portal where the details of the summons can be seen by entering the passcode mentioned in the summons.“Recently, the ED busted an inter-state gang of racketeers indulging in preparing and sending forged summons/ notices to the general public in the name of the agency for the purpose of extortion. It came to the notice that an interstate gang, targeting high-profile persons and businessmen and threatening them in the name of ED by sending them forged summons/notices, is active. The gang issued forged ED summons to the president and director of Mumbai-based Nippon Paints, directing them to appear at the Delhi office of the directorate and attend proceedings u/s 50 of PMLA, 2002.

Thereafter, the gang contacted the officers of that company and told them that they have good contacts with some officers of the ED and they could settle the matter for which they demanded Rs15-20 crore,” the agency said in a statement.The victim's company brought this matter to the notice of the agency. A trap was laid and the members of the gang were asked to come to Delhi for negotiation.

After some hesitation, they agreed to come to Delhi. Subsequently, a joint team of the ED and Delhi police was formed and the members of the gang including the kingpin namely Akhilesh Mishra, a resident of Mumbai, were apprehended from the hotel. Other arrested persons include Darshan Harish Joshi, also from Mumbai and Devender Dubey who came in a car with stickers of Government of India, pretending himself as an officer of the ED and who threatened the company officials to settle the matter otherwise he would arrest them next day, the agency officials claimed.

“A total of ten persons of the said gang – Akhilesh Mishra (Mumbai), Darshan Harish Joshi (Mumbai), Vinod Patel (Bihar), Dharmender Giri (Delhi), Naresh Mahto (Kolkata), Devender Dubey (Bihar), Ashrar Ali (Delhi), Gajender (Ghazipur, UP) and Vishnu Prasad (Delhi) – have been arrested so far," the statement said.

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