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ED summons actor Prakash Raj in money laundering case

by tbhad

TOI, New Delhi

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday summoned actor Prakash Raj for questioning in connection with a money laundering case, official sources said.

The case pertains to an alleged Rs 100 crore ponzi and fraud scheme by a Tiruchirapalli-based jewellery group. According to a PTI report, ED conducted raids against Pranav Jewellers, a partnership firm based in Tiruchirapalli, and seized “unexplained” cash of Rs 23.70 lakh and some gold jewellery. Raj (58) has been a brand ambassador of this company.

The actor has been asked to depose before the federal agency in Chennai next week. Raj, who has played various roles in Hindi and South Indian movies, has been an outspoken critic of the BJP and PM Modi. The ED case stems from an FIR of the Tamil Nadu Police Economic Offences Wing.

According to the Police complains, The Pranav Jewellers and others collected Rs 100 crore from the public under the guise of a gold investment scheme with the promise of high returns, the federal agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Pranav Jewellers failed to return the amount to such investors and the firm (Pranav Jewellers) and other connected persons cheated the public by diverting public funds to shell entities/ entry providers under the garb of purchase of bullion/ gold ornaments,” it said. The supplier parties in the books of Pranav Jewellers were entry providers, who during the investigation, “confessed” to providing adjustment and bogus accommodation entries to Pranav Jewellers for amounts of over Rs 100 crore and also “confessed” to giving cash to the accused persons in lieu of bank payments, the ED claimed.

“During the searches, various incriminating documents, unexplained cash of Rs 23.70 lakh, bullion and gold jewellery weighing 11.60 kg was seized,” the probe agency said.

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