A special money laundering court has attached assets worth Rs 75 lakh of a conman who cheated film maker Rakesh Roshan in 2011 and several others posing as a senior CBI officer.
The court acted on a complaint of the Mumbai office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which registered a money laundering case against Ashwani Kumar Sharma and his wife Meenakshi Mansotra taking cognisance of numerous CBI FIRs against him for duping gullible people who wanted to secretly settle their serious cases of penalty and customs duties.
A comfy flat in Sector-20A of Navi Mumbai worth Rs 26.25 lakh and two plots in Sushant city area of Haryana’s Panipat district valued at Rs 15.75 lakh and Rs 31.50 lakh respectively had been attached by the ED last year under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case dates back to 2011 as the agencies got on hot pursuit of Sharma and his associate Rajesh Ranjan after Roshan complained to the CBI that the duo has “threatened” him that they, posing as CBI officers, would issue arrest warrants against him, his actor son Hrithik and other family members in a payments case related to their home production Hindi flick ‘Kites’.
The conmen, who had cheated numerous people by this time flaunting their fake status as CBI officers, also extracted Rs 50 lakh from Roshan on the pretext of helping him get closed a civil complaint case against the Roshans.
The Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA, in two latest and separate orders, attached the assets in the name of Sharma as “proceeds of crime” earned by creating illegal assets by cheating a number of people who were scared of their status of being CBI authorities.
The Authority is a judicial body to decide on cases of enforcement action.
The ED probe found that the assets created by Sharma were “done with the sole intention of money laundering by projecting the tainted money derived out of scheduled offence as untainted in the form of genuine investment.”
The case had made headlines three years back as a number of people who were under the scanner of agencies like DRI and the Income Tax department got in touch with the conmen, taking them to be CBI officers, for bailing them out of legal action by these agencies.