The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has provisionally attached properties valued at Rs 27.86 Crore of ex-IAS officer Babulal Agarwal, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in cases related to criminal misconduct and cheating by public servant. The attached assets include plant and machinery, balances in bank accounts and immovable properties of Babulal Agarwal and his family members.
The ED had initiated investigations under PMLA on the basis of FIR registered by Chhattisgarh Police’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) under sections 13(2) and 13(1) (e) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 which discloses the disproportionate assets amassed by Babulal Agrawal and his family members, pursuant to search action conducted by the Income Tax Department in February 2010 at the premises of Babulal Agrawal, his CA Sunil Agrawal and his family members. Further 3 more FIRs were registered followed by Charge sheets by CBI against Babulal Agrawal and others. These FIRs were registered under sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
An investigation under PMLA revealed that Babulal Agrawal in connivance with his CA Sunil Agrawal and his brothers Ashok Agrawal and Pawan Agrawal, opened more than 400 bank accounts in the name of gullible villagers of Kharora, and its nearby villages. Cash was deposited in these accounts and several other accounts. Thirteen shell companies owned and operated by CA Sunil Agrawal, 26 Delhi and Kolkata based shell companies as well as the sister concerns of M/s Prime Ispat Limited (a company owned and managed by family members of Babulal Agrawal) were used in placement and layering of this cash generated from corrupt means which was finally integrated in the form of share capital including share premium in M/s Prime Ispat Limited (PIL).
Out of the above, ED had already attached properties of M/s PIL to the tune of Rs. 35.49 Crore in the year 2017. Now remaining plant and Machinery to the tune of Rs. 26.16 Crore, has been attached. In addition to it, balance of Rs. 20.43 Lacs lying in 291 bank accounts, a residential plot worth Rs. 39.52 Lac in the name of M/s Xpress Mining Pvt. Ltd. (an entity owned and operated by family members of Babulal Agrawal), Rs. 15 lakh recovered during the Income Tax search, balance of Rs. 4.75 lakh of in the bank account of M/s Capstone, a residential plot of Rs. 10.25 lakh in the name of M/s Shri Ram Vihar (Both partnership firms owned and operated by family members of Babulal Agrawal), cash of Rs. 39.81 Lac and 2 Kg gold recovered by CBI have been attached under PMLA. The accused Babulal Agrawal was arrested by ED on November 9 and he is in judicial custody till December 5, 2020. Further investigation into the case is underway.