Ex-GSPC chief charged with money laundering

Vol 20, PW 22 (27 Jul 17) People & Policy

Things are going from bad to worse for Gujarat's flamboyant former GSPC managing director and self-proclaimed 'energy king' Sanjay Gupta.

PETROWATCH learns on July 11 the ominous sounding Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 accusing Gupta of setting up more than 50 front companies which he used for financial gain. Last year the Gandhinagar crime branch scrutinised the documents of Neesa Group, a hotel chain promoted by Gupta, to find that large amounts of money were sent through bank transfers to the UK to these 50 shell companies.

After investigation the ED was called in when the CID alleged that as chairman of Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Gupta indulged in cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and the diversion of public funds. By raising false invoices to Neesa Group, the ED found money was routed through 36 of these 50 companies.

So complex is the web of financial transactions that investigating officers are still struggling to trace the account where the money has eventually ended up. Gupta meanwhile remains in police custody, following his dramatic escape from a Delhi hospital in February and subsequent surrender in March.

As MEGA chairman Gupta was initially accused of raising fraudulent invoices of Rs113.22cr ($17m) for supplies to set up a casting yard and a depot at Motera in north Ahmedabad. In 2016 this figure subsequently rose to Rs211cr ($31m).