The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said it has attached assets worth over Rs 146 crore in a money laundering case linked to alleged fraud at the State Trading Corporation of India Ltd (STCL), which is a public sector enterprise.
The properties have been attached by the agency under a provisional order issued according to provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and they belong to Future Metals Pvt Ltd (FMPL) and Future Exim India Pvt Ltd (FEIPL).
The immovable assets, worth Rs 146.67 crore, are located in Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka (Bengaluru and Bellary).
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) case of money laundering is based on two FIRs of 2009 filed by the Bengaluru Police and the CBI in this case of alleged loan fraud in guise of merchant trading.
The ED said in a statement that FMPL and FEIPL first approached STCL for entering into merchandise trade and requested it to facilitate the trade.
“FMPL and FEIPL entered into tripartite agreements with STCL Ltd… along with overseas buyers and sellers for export and import of copper and nickel,” it said.
“FMPL and FEIPL had signed the agreements guaranteeing the payment to be made by the overseas buyers,” the agency said.
It alleged that FMPL and FEIPL “did not honour” the tripartite agreements and Naveen Sriram, chairman of FMPL and FEIPL, and Sudheer Sriram, managing director of FMPL and FEIPL, executed a deed of personal and corporate guarantee in favour of STCL against the latter agreeing to provide finance for the merchandise trade transactions. This corporate guarantee could be invoked by STCL in the event of any default in repayment of amount, the ED said.
STCL, the agency said, established irrevocable LCs (letters of credit) for the usance (usage) period of 90 days towards purchase of goods with a condition that the LCs would not be allowed to devolve under any circumstances as per the undertaking given by FMPL/FEIPL.
“However, the LCs were devolved due to non-payment by overseas buyers which was guaranteed by FMPL and FEIPL causing wrongful loss of USD 249.57 million to STCL,” it said.