The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its investigations into the multi-crore National Spot Exchange Ltd. (NSEL) scam has conducted raids and searches on offices of the Aastha Group and Juggernaut Projects. It is alleged that these two companies are among the biggest defaulters in the NSEL scam and reportedly owe the investors more than Rs250 crore. After the Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai police registered a case against NSEL, the ED also filed a separate case under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and started its investigations into the scam, which is believed to be more than Rs5,600 crore.
The ED has reportedly raided premises of Aastha group of companies located in Mumbai and Bangalore in the past few days and found incriminating documents. Evidence of diversion of funds and money laundering too has been unearthed, sources said.
During its investigations so far, ED has been able to unearth the money trail of how funds were laundered by the two companies. “Funds received from NSEL were diverted for investments in real estate, plant capacity expansion, repayment of loans and purchase of high end vehicles,” an officer said.
According to ED, director of the group has reportedly admitted that contracts were launched on NSEL portal without the delivery of any physical stock of TMT bars in the NSEL warehouses and money that was received from this was diverted.
In the next step of investigations, ED is likely to attach properties of the two companies under PMLA and is conducting investigations against other defaulters and brokers as well.