By Anand Singh
New Delhi, Aug 2 | THe Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the roles of Amol Awasthi and Anupam Awasthi, both NRI sons of US Awasthi, MD and CEO IFFCO, and Vivek Gahlaut — also an NRI, and son of Parvinder Singh Gahlaut, MD of the Indian Potash Limited (IPL), in connection with its money laundering probe into the fertilizer scam.
According to ED officials related to the probe, Anupam is the beneficiary in the Africa Strategic Advisory Services, while his brother Amol beneficially owns Catalyst Business Solution Pvt Ltd US and Terra Firma Commodities DMCC, Dubai along with Vivek.
The ED officials also claimed that Vivek also beneficially owns Thorn Lock Associates. An ED source related to probe told IANS: “Several companies owned by Anupam, Amol and Vivek are under the scanner of the agency. Besides there companies, the other accused in the CBI FIR, who acted as the middlemen in channelising the funds are also under investigation.”
The source said that the role of the Rajeev Saxena, whose name has appeared in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case is also on the radar of the financial probe agency. The source said that group companies of Saxena — Midas Metal International and others received had received huge amounts as commission from Uralkali Trading Ltd, Guf Marine and rare Earth Group of Pankaj Jain (a middleman) which are reportedly suppliers of fertilizers and related products to IFFCO and IPL.
The ED source said that for justifying the receipt of commission, consultancy agreements were made between Saxena and Uralkali Trading Ltd while invoices for consultancy were raised by Saxena without providing any consultancy.
“The amounts were transferred to Anupam, Amol, Vivek and others by Saxena as per the instructions of middleman Jain,” he said, adding that for justifying the amount transfers or payments, Saxena made agreement with Anupam’s Africa Strategic Advisory Services and then he raised invoices on the companies of Saxena for the so called services, the official pointed out.
He further said that Catalyst Business Solution Pvt Ltd, is beneficially owned by Amol, Thorn Rock Associates, beneficially owned by Vivek and Terra Firma Commodities DMCC, Dubai beneficially owned by Amol and Vivek received commission from group companies of Saxena without any genuine transactions and such transfers were actually receipt of illegal commission generated out on import of fertilizers and raw materials by the IFFCO and the IPC on inflated prices.
The ED source said that the financial probe agency is “studying” and “scrutnising” the banking transaction details of these companies and till date, it has got the lead of involvement of over 20 more NRIs’ role in the case.
The ED source further said that in the CBI FIR it has also been alleged that Saxena, Jain, Sanjay Jain, RJD RS member and Senior Vice President of Jyoti Trading AD Singh, who has been arrested by the ED and Sushil Kumar Pachisia are the intermediaries who channelised the funds through various firms and companies registered in their names or in the names of Amol, Anupam and Vivek.
In the CBI FIR, it has been alleged that Saxena is director in various companies in middle east — Midas Metal International LLC, Pacific International FZC, Matrix Group Limited, Matrix Grroup DMCC, Rockford DMCC.The official said that Saxena and his associates received a total of Rs 685 crore of illegal commission in the bank accounts of his group companies and individual account of Jain, Vivek, Amol and Singh.
He said that a total of Rs 481 crore has been channelised through Rare Earth Group of Pankaj Jain and remaining Rs 204 crore has been received by Amol, Anupam and Vivek either in the accounts of the firms or companies owned by them or in the form of cash.
The ED official said that “we are preparing the list of transactions in the accounts of the companies beneficially owned by Amol, Anupam and Vivek”.
He also said that the agency is also identifying the properties which has been from the amount which thery received in cash or through alleged hawala transactions.
The CBI has registered a case in May this year against Awasthi, Gahlaut, Amol, Anupam, Vivek, Pankaj Jain of Jyoti Group of Companies and Rare Earth Group, Dubai; Sanjay Jain, brother of Pankaj Jain and also President of Jyoti Trading Corporation and beneficial owner of other entities of Jyoti Group; and AD Singh, senior Vice President of Jyoti Trading Corporation, Dubai.
Besides them, the CBI has also named Rajiv Saxena, a chartered accountant, who is the promoter of Midas Metal International LLC and other companies, Sushil Kumar Pachisia, an employee of Pankaj Jain, and unknown directors of IFFCO and unknown others.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)