ED issues summons to 'middlemen' before nailing politicians in Rs 1500cr diamond remittance scam

The Enforcement Directorate has begun its second round of investigation in the Rs 1500 crore diamond remittance scam, spread across Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has begun its second round of investigation in the Rs 1500 crore diamond remittance scam, spread across Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat.

The agency has begun issuing summons to those "middlemen" who played a crucial role between the politicians and Ritesh Jain in laundering crores of money to Hong Kong and UAE, during the demonetization phase.

As per sources, around 8-9 individuals, including a few hawala traders, had allegedly helped a few Delhi-based politicians to hide and divert their black money in the past year.

"Before issuing summons and recording statements of the politicians (whose names have cropped up during the probe), the agency would like to interrogate the middlemen who had helped the beneficiaries. These individuals have their network spread across Delhi, Mumbai and other cities to launder money outside India, using a web of companies", the source said.

On March 9, India Today had revealed that during the probe of the Rs 1500 crore outward remittance scam, the ED got in hand the names of a few politicians, who "may have direct links and whose money might have been diverted outside India" with the help of Ritesh Jain, the mastermind and the prime accused in this money laundering case.

In December 2016, after getting specific information from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the ED had conducted searches on Rajeshwar Exports, a Mumbai-based diamond company and had found that almost Rs 700 crore was transferred to Hong Kong in the month of November and about Rs 1500 crore since December 2015.

Rajeshwar Exports is a shell company formed by Ritesh Jain, Managing Director and Amritlal Jain, Chairman of Auro Gold Jewellery Private Ltd.

Strategically, the investigative agency is not revealing these names at this juncture, which mostly belong to the leading national opposition party in India.

Meanwhile, the ED has arrested Kritika Dahal (now in judicial custody), Director of International Rising Ltd., another shell company of Rajeshwar Exports based in Hong Kong and has issued a look out notice against Ritesh Jain, who is currently hiding in Gulf region.

The agency has also sent a FIU query to the Hong Kong authorities seeking specific details of the bank accounts of the companies managed by Jain.

In case, the required details do not arrive, then a letter rogatory (LRs) with legal backing would be issued to Hong Kong and UAE.

Also Read: Mumbai: Politicians, bankers under ED's lens in Rs 1500 crore diamond remittance case

Also Read: Demonetisation case: ED arrests owner of diamond import firm Rajeshwar Exports for laundering over Rs 1478 crore