Hyderabad jeweller appears before ED in money laundering case

Hyderabad: Sukesh Gupta, one of the owners of MBS Jewellers, on Wednesday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in a money laundering case.

The jeweller appeared before the ED officials at the agency’s regional office here.

The Telangana High Court on Monday had directed Gupta to appear before the ED and answer queries on information he had furnished. The court had refused to further stay the ED proceedings.

The court had earlier stayed the ED case and appointed a senior counsel as amicus curiae.

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Hyderabad: ED takes MBS Jewellers director Sukesh Gupta into custody

The central agency had commenced an investigation against Gupta based on an FIR filed by the CBI in 2014 on alleged irregularities committed by him in operating provisions of the gold import scheme.

Gupta had entered into an MoU with Metals Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC), a public sector enterprise, under provisions of the scheme. He allegedly received gold on credit from MMTC Ltd to maintain forex positions without paying an additional five per cent tax. The agency reportedly identified fake invoices and vouchers pertaining to jewellery sales to customers.

The ED investigated their bank transactions and reportedly found that they deposited demonetised currency in banks and exchanged them for new notes.

The alleged irregularities by MBS Jewellers and other sister companies in buying gold in collusion with the officials of MMTC allegedly caused a loss to the tune of over Rs 504 crore including interest to the MMTC.

In August 2021, the ED had attached properties worth Rs 363.51 crore of MBS Jewellers, MBS Impex and other group entities under PMLA.

The action was taken on the basis of an FIR registered by the ACB and the CBI against Sukesh Gupta and his companies for defrauding MMTC. The CBI had filed the chargesheet in 2014.

In October last year, the ED had arrested Sukesh Gupta after searches at MBS Jewellers Private Limited and Musaddilal Gems and Jewels India Private Limited. The agency had seized gold jewellery stock worth Rs 149.10 crore and an amount of Rs 1.96 crore.