TRP scam: Financial trail under ED lens

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is trying to establish the money trail in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation racket. The agency, which recently filed the money-laundering case, will scan the financial books of the people who have been under the ambit of the probe.

“Those who are accused in the case filed by the police will be probed,” said a source privy to the development adding summons will be issued to others also. The ED will probe to ascertain any shadowy money-trial.

The Mumbai Police in their remand application to the court had mentioned that a part of money was accepted via hawala transactions by an accused. The agency is to dip deeper into the entire conspiracy and where has the money being invested by the accused involved.

Based on the investigation, the anti-money laundering agency may attach properties. An attachment by the ED renders an asset out of bounds for its owner and it can be further confiscated by the agency after the Adjudicating Authority (AA) of the PMLA, a quasi-judicial body, approves the attachment within 180 days.

As part of the attachment process under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a suspect or accused is given 180 days’ time to challenge the seizure or attachment of any article by the ED before the PMLA adjudicating authority confirms the action. The AA is designated to function as the first appellate authority against attachment of assets made by the ED under stringent money laundering laws. The AA listens to both the parties following which a decision is taken.

The ED will ascertain the proceeds of crime involved in the case. The PMLA defines proceeds of crime as “any property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly, by any person as a result of criminal activity relating to a scheduled offence or the value of any such property”.

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