The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in one of its biggest crackdowns, conducted raids on nearly 300 shell companies across country in connection with various money laundering cases.
In Kolkata, the ED raided 14 shell companies which were allegedly involved in the Louis Berger bribery case. These 14 shell companies had routed Rs 2.2 crore from US-based Louis Berger company, said an ED source.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE'S CRACKDOWN ON 14 SHELL COMPANIES:
- According to the investigation by Enforcement Directorate, US-based Louis Berger company was awarded a JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) project for Rs 2.85 crore in 2009.
- The project cost was reportedly Rs 65 lakh while the remaining Rs 2.2 crore crore was allegedly meant to bribe then Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat and then PWD minister Churchill Alemao to get contracts for other JICA projects.
- The US office of Louis Berger company had issued a cheque of Rs 2.2 crore which was allegedly encashed by these 14 Kolkata-based shell companies.
- These companies, after taking their commissions, delivered the money to Delhi-based hawala operator Raichand Soni, who in turn allegedly delivered the money to Digambar Kamat and Churchill Alemao in Goa.
- Recently, the Enforcement Directorate attached movable and immovable properties, worth Rs 1.2 crore, of former Goa CM Digambar Kamat. The ED also attached eight flats, worth Rs 75 lakh, of Churchill Alemao. Alemo, however, claimed these were his ancestral property.
- The Goa Enforcement Directorate had forwarded a list of 14 shell companies to its counterpart in Kolkata in connection with Louis Berger case for further investigation. Goa ED had suspected that these shell companies allegedly played a role in laundering money to the accused in Goa.