The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently froze assets worth Rs 417 crore after conducting raids at various locations across the country. The assets comprised cash, jewelry and share investments.
The investments in the stock market were being done through Kolkata-based hawala operator named Vikash Chhaparia with assistance from an individual named Govind Kedia. The ED press release stated that Chhaparia used to invest in the stock market through his entities Perfect Plan Investments LLP, Exim General Trading FZCO and Techpro IT Solutions LLC via the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) route.
The ED has also frozen assets worth Rs 236.3 crore in cash, derivatives, and other securities held in the names of firms owned by Chhaparia. Additionally, Kedia’s demat holdings totaling Rs 160 crore in assets have also been blocked with the officials recovering gold jewellery worth Rs 13 crore from his premises.
Mastermind of the operations, Saurabh Chandrakar is said to have spent over Rs 200 crore on his wedding in February of this year. Out of that amount, it has come to light that a payment of Rs 112 crore was made through hawala channels of angadiya entities to the event management firm responsible for organizing the wedding.
“Private jets were hired to ferry family members from Nagpur to the UAE. Celebrities were hired to perform in the marriage. Wedding planners, dancers, decorators, etc. were hired from Mumbai and hawala channels were used to make payments in cash,” the press release stated.
“As per the digital evidence gathered by ED, Rs 112 crore was delivered via hawala to an events management company in the name of R-1 Events Pvt Ltd of Yogesh Popat and hotel bookings costing Rs 42 crore were done by paying in cash,” it added.
Several Bollywood actors, singers and comedians were also present at the wedding. These celebrities were paid from the proceeds of illegal online betting.
As per The Times of India, Chandrakar and his partner Ravi Uppal were planning to host a party in India on September 18. For the purpose, they paid Rs 40 crore to an event management company but due to the ongoing ED investigations the plan is reported to have been scrapped. The party is likely to be held on a cruise liner on a smaller scale.