Thirty red sandalwood smuggler bank accounts, associates found; sent into custody

A PMLA court in Mumbai has sent red sandalwood smuggler Badshah Malik into the custody of the Law Enforcement Directorate.

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Mumbai Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) sent red sandalwood smuggler Badshah Malik into the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) until January 3 .

According to the investigative agency, Malik, along with Vijay Subbanna Poojary and other associates, dispatched 17 shipments of Red Sanders to UAE / Africa; Apart from the 7.8 MT of Red Sanders seized worth Rs 3.12 crore which was attempted to be shipped by the union under the guise of Fabric Glue. The agency claims that Malik’s union appears to have shipped 120 MT of Red Sanders worth Rs 48.00 crore in the past in the form of fabric glues or radiators in 17 export containers.

The ED states that their investigation revealed that Malik is associated with a company called Empire India Multitrade Pvt Ltd which was registered in 2010 with its office in Kurla.

Investigator Amitesh Malik, deputy director at ED area office, Mumbai, filed the referral request and says that on December 20, a search was carried out of 8 commercial and residential premises related to the illegal export of red sanders under the guise of fabric / glue / radiators / assorted colors. Searches were carried out of the residential premises of Malik and his son, Aakib Malik, resulting in the recovery and seizure of the offending documents and files.

The agency said that the proceeds of crime in the present case are the value of 17 from the dispatch of Red Sanders smuggled out of India by a trade union in Malik earlier. The proceeds have been laundered in the form of remittances of foreign funds and credits in the accounts of the companies that he controls.

While in detention, Malik’s statement was recorded in which he was confronted with bank statements regarding his credit and debit transactions with different entities or individuals. However, given the huge volume of transactions in the accused’s bank accounts as well as the entities he controls, he still has to grapple with the remaining transactions in his bank accounts.

During the investigation, 30 other bank accounts of Malik and those of individuals and entities associated with him were discovered and their statements are being obtained from the banks concerned. The agency said custody of Malik is necessary to be confronted with the transactions made.

The agency had requested custody of Malik for an additional 10 days, which he was granted.

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Shawanda H. Saldana