Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen assets worth Rs 37 crore, including cash, linked to CA and financial consultant Amber Dalal who has been accused of cheating over 1,300 investors of Rs 600 crore by floating a Ponzi scheme.
ED is investigating a money-laundering case based on the FIR registered by Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police.Last week, police had submitted a chargesheet against Dalal before a special Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors court. Dalal was arrested by EOW on March 26 and is currently in judicial custody.
ED on Friday and Saturday carried out searches at several premises linked to Dalal, proprietor of Ritz Consultancy Services. Its probe showed that Dalal raised money from investors on the pretext that he invested the funds in nine commodities — gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, zinc, lead, nickel, copper, aluminum — and traded in them, ensuring the capital was safe and promising an annual return of between 18% to 22%. He used the same modus operandi for raising money from investors in the UAE and the US too , ED said.
During the searches, ED found material showing a network of stockbrokers and investment advisors who brought clients to Dalal in lieu of commission. It was also found that payments from new investors were being utilised to pay monthly returns to old investors. Dalal diverted the funds received in Ritz’s account to personal accounts, which were further routed to family members’ accounts and used for creating assets in India and abroad. He has diverted Rs 51 crore to his personal accounts, said ED. Eight such immovable properties in India and two abroad have been identified.
ED said they found that besides banking channels, investments were made in cash as well, which was then infused into the books as accommodation entries in connivance with city jewellers. Returns on such cash-based investments were given to investors in India and abroad by hawala operators.

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