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Monday,10-August-2020

Crime

ED attaches Rs 204-crore assets of Gujarat-based firm

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Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 204.27 crore of Gujarat-based Ardor Group of Companies for allegedly cheating and causing loss to a consortium of banks led by the Bank of India that totalled up to Rs 488 crore.

The attached properties include Ahmedabad-based commercial office of the company at SG Highway, a residential plot at Satellite, five residential plots at Ambali, 17 residential plots at Gokul Dham, four shops at Bodakdev, office premises at Ellisbridge and Ashram Road. A non-agricultural land at Surat was also attached.

The agency attached the assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The ED initiated investigation on the basis of six FIRs registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), Gandhinagar, based on allegation that the Ardor Group and its directors in connivance with unknown bank officials had cheated and caused wrongful loss to the consortium of banks.

The ED investigation revealed that Bharat Shah, Fenil Shah, and Geetaben Shah — directors of Ardor International Ltd, Ardor Global Pvt Ltd, and Chem Edge International Pvt Ltd — indulged in circular routing of the funds received out of credit limit sanctioned by the consortium of banks to inflate the financials of the companies.

The purpose was to increase the credit facilities from the consortium of banks and obtain loans in the name of the group companies, the ED said.

“They also diverted and misutilised the funds received from the consortium for purposes other than for which the credit facilities were sanctioned,” the ED said.

The group, which is into supply chain management of detergent raw material and other chemicals, had defaulted on loans between 2016 and 2017 towards a consortium of eight banks, including the Central Bank of India.

Further, the ED said, the accused mortgaged assets of other group companies for availing higher credit limits and submitted false stock statements and financials to the consortium banks.

Group companies, namely Ardor International Ltd, Ardor Global Pvt Ltd, and Chem Edge International Pvt Ltd, did not repay the amount owed to the consortium of banks, resulting in accounts becoming NPAs, the ED said.

Crime

Mumbai Customs, DRI seizes heroin camouflaged as ‘ayurvedic’ medicine

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In one of the biggest narcotics haul in Mumbai, the Mumbai Customs and Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have seized 191 kg of heroin worth around Rs 1,000 crore from a cargo container at Nhava Sheva Port Trust, officials said here on Monday.

The seizure of the drugs, being declared as ‘ayurvedic medicine’ — believed to have originated from Afghanistan — was made late on Saturday.

Two customs clearing house agents who attempted to get it cleared through the customs have been arrested and sent to police custody for 14 days.

The narcotic, stated to be of high-grade quality, was concealed in plastic pipes painted in bamboo colour and sought to be passed off as a traditional common medicine, said the officials.

Further probe is underway into the source of the supply, the modus operandi and whether the same has been tried before to evade the various enforcement agencies.

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Crime

Global COVID-19 cases top 19.7mn: Johns Hopkins University

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The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 19.7 million, while the deaths have increased to over 729,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 19,778,566 and the fatalities rose to 729,692, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US accounted for the world’s highest number of infections and fatalities at 5,044,435 and 162,919, respectively, according to the CSSE.

Brazil came in the second place with 3,035,422 infections and 101,049 deaths.

In terms of cases, India ranks third (2,153,010), and is followed by Russia (885,718), South Africa (559,859), Mexico (480,278), Peru (471,012), Colombia (376,870), Chile (373,056), Iran (326,712), Spain (314,362), the UK (312,555), Saudi Arabia (288,690), Pakistan (284,121), Bangladesh (257,600), Italy (250,566), Argentina (246,499), Turkey (240,804), France (235,237), Germany (217,288), Iraq (150,115), Philippines (129,913), Indonesia (125,396), Canada (121,362) and Qatar (112,947), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Mexico (52,298), UK (46,659), India (43,379), Italy (35,205), France (30,327), Spain (28,503), Peru (20,844), Iran (18,427), Russia (14,903), Colombia (12,540), South Africa (10,408) and Chile (10,077).

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Crime

Abducted UP boy found abandoned in bus

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A five-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district, was found abandoned in a bus in Ghaziabad.

Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) driver Vikal and conductor Deepak found the abandoned boy crying in the bus, which was on its way to Moradabad via Ghaziabad from the Greater Noida depot.

The boy, when questioned by the driver and conductor, could not tell the address but gave them a phone number of his family member.

Vikal and Deepak called the boy’s family who then informed the two that the boy had been kidnapped from Moradabad.

The kidnappers had reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs 30 lakh, but seemed to have changed their plan and abandoned the child in the bus.

After speaking to the boy’s relative, Vikal and Deepak informed Moradabad police about the incident.

Moradabad SP (rural area) Vidya Sagar Mishra asked them to bring the boy to the police station and hand him over to the police.

State Transport Minister Ashok Kataria has praised Vikal and Deepak and has decided to felicitate the two.

Transport Corporation Managing director, Raj Shekhar also appreciated the efforts of the bus driver and conductor in rescuing the child.

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