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Homeuttar-pradeshED attaches assets of IFS officer in UP investment fraud money-laundering case

ED attaches assets of IFS officer in UP investment fraud money-laundering case

New Delhi: Agricultural land, bank balances and fixed deposits worth more than Rs 2 crore of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Neeharika Singh have been provisionally attached under the anti-money laundering law in a probe linked to alleged investment fraud, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday.

Singh is being probed by the federal agency as part of a criminal investigation against her husband, Ajeet Kumar Gupta, whom the ED has called the “mastermind of the scam” in the Anee Bullion Industries fraud.

Singh was earlier questioned and her statement recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the ED’s Lucknow office. The 2006-batch IFS officer is currently posted in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Delhi.

The money-laundering investigation began in 2019 after the ED took cognisance of FIRs lodged by the Uttar Pradesh Police against Gupta and other persons or entities for “cheating and fraud” worth Rs 110 crore by “luring” several people to invest in “fraudulent” schemes with the intention of defrauding them, the ED said in a statement.

A provisional order has been issued under the PMLA to attach the bank balance, fixed deposits and a piece of agricultural land situated at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh worth Rs 2.03 crore belonging to Singh, it added.

Anee Bullion Industries Private Limited, Gupta and others ‘fraudulently’ collected money from the public in the guise of daily deposit schemes, monthly recurring schemes, fixed schemes etc. by offering returns varying from 20 to 40 per cent.

“Investors’ money, thus collected, was layered and rotated through the platform of various companies of Anee Group and used for the purchase of various immovable properties in the name of Ajit Gupta and others,” the agency said.

The ED had earlier attached 20 immovable properties in the form of land and buildings of Anee group of companies in Lucknow, Amethi and Delhi, together valued at Rs 7.07 crore.

With the latest order, the total value of attachment in the case stands at Rs 9.1 crore.

(Published 20 December 2023, 14:09 IST)

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