New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested two accommodation entry providers in connection with its money laundering probe in Shakti Bhog Foods Limited bank fraud case estimated at around Rs 3,269.42 crore, the agency said on Friday.
Both the accused identified as Ashok Kumar Goel and Devki Nandan Garg were held from Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, respectively in a cheating case.
ED said that these arrests were preceded by searches carried out in September at 13 premises located in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
During these searches, various incriminating documents and digital evidence have been traced and seized, said the ED.
The federal agency in July had arrested Kewal Krishan Kumar, the chairman-cum-managing director of Shakti Bhog Foods Limited, in the case.
The ED initiated a money-laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Shakti Bhog Foods Limited and others on December 31 last year for criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct resulting in bank fraud of Rs 3,269.42 crore.
ED said that Shakti Bhog Foods Limited had procured fake sale-purchase invoices from the dummy entities under the command and control of Goel and Garg without having any genuine business transactions.
"They acquired the proceeds of crime and assisted Shakti Bhog Foods Limited in generation, acquisition, layering and siphoning off its loans funds."
After the arrest, the ED said, the court granted custody of both the accused to ED till today (Friday) which has further been extended for the next five days.
The court noted that the remand of both the accused was necessary and justified for a fair and complete investigation of the matter, added the ED.
Shakti Bhog Foods Limited is into the manufacture and sale of a range of food products like wheat flour, under the well-known brand name Shakti Bhog, rice, biscuits and cookies in northern India. It has third-party tie-ups in other regions.
The alleged fraud came to light during a forensic audit of the transactions from April 2013 to March 2017. It detected alleged manipulation of the account statements and stock status.
While the audited financial statement for 2015-16 mentioned that inventory worth Rs 3,035.52 crore was damaged due to pest, and therefore sold at substantially low rates, in the stock and receivable audit conducted for January-February 2016, the stock in September 2015 was said to be worth Rs 3,537.55 crore, as alleged.
The banks found that two of the five vendors shown to have been paid money by the company did not exist. The vehicle numbers mentioned on the goods transport challans were of two-wheelers and other classes of vehicles. (ANI)