Surat: A special court Saturday
issued summons against 77 accused in connection with the
Rs 5,395-crore alleged Surat fake diamond trade and hawala
scam after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a charge
sheet under anti-money laundering laws against prime accused
Afroz Fatta and others.
S C Srivastava, spcial judge of PMLA court, has ordered
all the accused persons to surrender their passports before
the next hearing on September 2 and also directed them to
furnish surety of Rs 50,000 each.
The agency was probing the case for over four months and
charged a total of 79 people, including key accused Fatta and
Madanlal Jain, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act (PMLA) after it had filed a complaint in a
special court in Ahmedabad.
Fatta and Jain are currently in ED's custody.
The 4350-page charge sheet also said certain Surat-based
companies, including Harmony Diamonds, Agni Gems, M B Offshore
Distributors and R A Distributors, had sent foreign
remittances on the strength of the forged bill of entry to a
few offshore firms which are based in at Hong Kong and Dubai.
The cash was channelised by way of Real Time Gross
Settlement (RTGS) system through various entities to make
foreign outward remittances, though imports were not made
against this, it said.
As per the ED probe, Rs 3,929 crore were transferred
through RTGS system.
ED had on March 21 busted a multi-crore hawala racket
during their search operations in Surat-based offices of some
diamond traders including Fatta and Jain.
It is alleged that instead of importing diamonds, the
duo made bogus import bills, claiming that they have purchased
the diamonds from foreign traders.
Using these bills, it is alleged that the duo used to
transfer money through their bank accounts. Thus, money went
outside without a single diamond imported in India.
The hawala scam had turned into a political fight when
Congress released a CD purportedly showing a photo of the
then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with Fatta and
demanded an independent probe.