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ED attaches properties worth Rs 234 crore of Chennai’s Sarvana Stores in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached immovable properties worth Rs 234.75 crore of Sarvana Stores (Gold Palace) in Chennai in connection with a money laundering case for allegedly defrauding a bank. The ED initiated an investigation under the PMLA, 2002 based on the FIR filed on April 25 this year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

The ED recorded the case on May 26 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

It has been alleged that partners of the store, including Pallakudurai, P Sujatha and YP Shiravan, with the criminal intention of cheating Indian Bank’s T Nagar Branch in Chennai, had conspired with unidentified public servants and others.

Investigation revealed that Saravana Store (Gold Palace) applied for sanctioning of loan by fabricating the balance sheet and financial health of the firm. There is a huge mismatch between the sales reported and credit entries of the firm, an official said.

The said firm has presented a cosmetic picture of expected turnover for upcoming financial years at the time of availing the loan. Further, to cheat Indian Bank, a significant wrongful loss and deriving personal gain, the firm, in collusion with a property valuer, bank officials, and certain private persons proposed to purchase assets at a price that was much higher than the real fair market value.

The investigation conducted by the ED under the PMLA, 2002 has adequately established the ill motives of accused individuals and bank officials since its inception.

The official said that the investigation revealed that the accused persons overstated the inventory, transferred the assets without the knowledge of the bank, used the OCC limits to repay the term loan, misappropriated and diverted the funds for which it was not sanctioned and committed other irregularities and thereby, the said accused persons and firms cheated the bank and caused wrongful loss and corresponding wrongful gain to themselves.

Further investigation is in progress, said the official.

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