Mangaluru, July 2, 2016: Reports state the Enforcement Directorate on July1, Friday attached Rs 50 crore worth of assets of a local don and his associates in connection with a money laundering probe into cases of extortion and hawala transactions against them.
The case pertains to Bannanje Raja, Hajee Ameen Basha and a few others against whom the Karnataka police have filed a criminal case and charge sheets for "indulging in criminal activities involving life threats, extortion, murder and supplying money through hawala channels for criminal activities."
The directorate said its investigations had revealed that the proceeds acquired through these criminal means were laundered and projected as overseas earnings from Dubai and several properties were acquired in the name of their alleged ’manager’ Lawrence Paul, his wife and brother.
"It was also noticed that Paul is mostly stationed in Dubai and is sending the proceeds of crime to his brother and acquiring various properties in their names. The properties include Rs 1.21 crore advance payment for acquiring three residential flats, over 18 acres of agricultural land in Mangalore, a mineral water plant and various residential properties.
"It was also noticed that the properties are being projected as if procured from the business earnings of Paul while he was only a ’manager’ in the Dubai-based trading company," the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.
The agency has provisionally attached 16 immovable properties with a registered value of Rs 9.28 crore and an advance amount of Rs 1.21 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
"However, the present market value of the said attached properties is about Rs 50 crore," it added.
An attachment order under the Act is aimed to ensure that the accused is not able to derive benefits of their ill-gotten wealth and such an order can be appealed before the adjudicating authority of the said Act within 180 days.