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ED Raids Premises in Multi-Crore Money Laundering Case

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In a major development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) executed search operations on 07.12.2023, invoking the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The focus of the raids was eight premises associated with Abdurahiman, his wife Smt. Zareena Majeed, and their associates in Kochi, Kozhikode, and Kasargod, Kerala.

The ED’s investigation traces its origins to an FIR registered by Chandera Police Station, Kasargode, Kerala, under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The FIR alleges that Abdurahiman Chenoth Thirummal, an Indian citizen, secured a business loan of 68.159 million AED from M/s Invest Bank, Sharjah, for the development of his business firm, “HEXA OIL & GAS SERVICES LLC.” However, he purportedly defrauded the bank by failing to repay the borrowed amount, leaving an outstanding sum of 42.898 million AED (Approx. Rs. 83.36 Crore). The complainant in this case represents the foreign bank that fell victim to this financial malpractice.

“The ED’s investigation unraveled a complex scheme involving Abdurahiman, who allegedly secured loans totaling around 150 million AED (Approx. Rs. 340 Crore) from multiple banks, including M/s Invest Bank. The accused is suspected of diverting these funds through various entities, employing debit entries and cash withdrawals. The investigation further suggests that Abdurahiman utilized hawala channels to divert cash withdrawals and invested the ill-gotten gains in companies spanning Construction, Media, Chemical Industry, and Information Technology”.

“During the searches, the ED seized incriminating documents and electronic devices, shedding light on the modus operandi behind this large-scale cross-border money laundering offense. A freezing order was issued under Section 17(1-A) of PMLA, 2002, amounting to Rs. 3.58 Crore against the bank balance of the accused and shares held in associated entities. The ED also confiscated documents about immovable properties and shares in companies linked to Abdurahiman”.

This high-profile case underscores the gravity of financial malpractices, emphasizing the need for stringent action against individuals involved in money laundering and fraudulent activities that have far-reaching consequences for both domestic and international financial institutions. As the investigation unfolds, the ED aims to piece together the intricate details of the accused’s financial misdeeds and ensure accountability for this multi-crore money laundering operation.

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