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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached the sprawling Dubai-based bungalow of Ludhiana-based businessman Kailash Agarwal, one of the main accused in the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam. The ED claims that the bungalow located in Dubai’s posh Palm Jumeirah area was bought by Agarwal with the proceeds of the scam. Spread over a total area of 622.44 square metres, the cost of the bungalow has been estimated at Rs 30 crore.
In the scam of 5600 crores, the accused’s son Abhinav and daughter Sumedha are also being searched. ED sources said Sumedha has business contacts in Dubai, Singapore, Philippines and the UK. The ED suspects that Kailash Aggarwal has transferred huge amount abroad through hawala and invested it in Sumedha’s business. Sumedha fled to Dubai after being summoned by the ED, while Kailash is on conditional bail in a case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a Mumbai court. Earlier, the Punjab Police could not catch this accused.
What is NSEL scam
Through NSEL, investors used to give loans for 25-36 days on commodities like castor seed, wool, sugar kept in the warehouse. It used to get returns of up to 15-16 per cent. In 2014, the commodity on which brokers got investors to invest money, that commodity was not in stock and the godowns were empty. The warehouse receipt was fake. NSEL exchange shut down after the scam came to light. In this, Rs 5600 crore of more than 13,000 investors is stuck. Other investigative agencies of the country including CBI and ED are probing the matter. 22 accused involved in this scam went on trial, among them Kailash of Ludhiana was also included.
700 crore liability on Agarwal’s head
As per the ED’s claim, Kailash Agarwal has a liability of Rs 700 crore in the PMLA case. He was booked separately by the Ludhiana Police on 15 May 2020 on the complaint of the ED, as he fraudulently sold 19 properties located in Ludhiana worth Rs 70 crores, legally in India, in the case attached by the ED. belonged to the government. These properties were in the name of M/s Genex Infratech Private Limited Ludhiana. Aggarwal sold these properties in connivance with the directors of the company, his wife Rajni Aggarwal and his nephew Abhishek Kansal. Yet Ludhiana Police Commissioner Kaustubh Sharma did not include the names of Rajni, Abhishek and Manmohan in the FIR registered on October 10 at the Dehlon police station.
Punjab police tried to hush up the case
Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of the Punjab Police were formed to investigate the matter, one headed by the then Joint Commissioner of Police Sachin Gupta, while the other SIT was headed by RS Brar. Both these SITs had recommended quashing of the FIR registered on the ED’s complaint saying that the property cannot be attached beyond a period of 365 days. But, the ED rejected the Punjab Police officials’ contention that the PMLA tribunal, through a judicial order on December 18, 2014, had made the provisional attachment permanent within 365 days, which was to continue till the pendency of the trial.