The Directorate of Enforcement on Monday filed a prosecution complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against 213 accused persons which includes 47 individuals including the 10 persons accused in the CBl chargesheet and 166 companies including M/s Satyam Computers and Services Limited.
The complaint seeks to prosecute the accused for the offence of money laundering under Section 3 and punish them under Section 4 of the PMLA.
According to ED Satyam's former chairman B Ramalinga Raju conspired with the other accused persons and published artificially inflated balance sheets and the Annual Financial statement of SCSL continuously during the period 2001-2oo8, thereby projecting a very rosy financial status of the company, for keeping the share prices of SCSL over valued and luring the ordinary investors into buying of shares of SCSL. The CBI after investigation, filed three charge sheets under Section 173 of Cr.P.c.in Rc No.4(S)/2009/CBT/Hyderabad under section 42oB R/W Section 420, 419, 467, 468, 471, 477(A) & 201 of lndian Penal code against Ramalinga Raju and others before the Designated Court. Since the offences under section 467, 420 & 471 of lndian penal Code are Scheduled Offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Directorate of Enforcement has investigated the offence of money laundering committed by the accused in the CBI chargesheets and others.
During the investigation under the PMLA, it transpired that Ramalinga Raju and the other accused in the CBI chargesheets derived proceeds of crime from sale or pledge of inflated shares of M/s SCSL. The accused also received bonus shares, shares under Employee Stock Option Schemes and dividends on the inflated shares of M/s SCSL and gained wrongfully. Ramalinga Raju, his relatives and associates members floated 327 front companies which were used to layer the proceeds of crime.
lnvestigation by the Directorate of Enforcement revealed that the accused have purchased movable and immovable properties in their names, in the name of the front companies and in the name of their close relatives, associates who were also Directors in the front companies. Further, it transpired that the accused resorted to inter-connected transactions so as to ensure that Crime proceeds were distanced from its initial beneficiaries and laundered the said proceeds under the cover of the corporate veil, with an ulterior motive to project the properties so acquired as untainted ones.
The properties involved in money laundering were attached under PMLA under 6 Provisional Attachment Orders (PAOs). So far 350 immovable and 5 moveable properties valued Rs 1075 crores (approx) have been attached under Sec 5 of the PMLA, 2002. The Directorate of Enforcement has since taken possession of most of the attached properties. The investigation is still going on in lndia and abroad for further identification of proceeds of crime.
The offence of money laundering under Section 3 of the PMLA criminalises any process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime and projecting it as untainted property. Consequently all the persons including juridical persons, who have attempted to indulge or knowingly became involved with the proceeds of crime are accused of the offence of money laundering. ln this regard, a complaint for prosecution under section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2OO2, has been filed, for prosecution of 213 accused (47 persons including the 10 accused in the CBI chargesheets and 156 companies) involved in the Offence of Money Laundering u/Sec.3 of PMLA, 2002, before the XXI Addl Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad, cum- Special Sessions Judge to try the Offences in respect of all the cases connected with M/s.SCSL.
The persons other than those chargesheeted in the CBI case are Directors in the Front companies who are none other than relatives and associates of Ramalinga Raju. The front companies and their Directors in whose names the properties were acquired are also charged with the offence of money laundering under section3 read with section 70 (1) of PMLA.