The searches took place in the premises belonging to Sagar Diamond Limited, a BSE-listed company, RHC Global Exports Limited, their director Vaibhav Dipak Shah and associates in Surat SEZ, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai.
Besides gold and diamonds, the ED also seized Rs 25 lakh in cash, digital devices, documents related to bogus import and export.
The probe agency launched the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of an FIR lodged by the Delhi Police against the fraud.
“Thousands of common people have been cheated through this app managed by Chinese nationals in connivance with their associates in India, which includes Vaibhav Dipak Shah and Sagar Diamond Ltd,” an ED official said.
The official said that during the search operation it was learnt that proceeds of crime generated from the fraud were routed and possessed by Sagar Diamond Ltd and others.
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“A number of manufacturing units of the entities at Surat SEZ were found involved in exorbitant overvaluation of import, export of diamond, gem stones and other precious metals and siphoning of funds abroad in the garb of bogus imports,” the official said.The ED said that during the search, stock to the tune of thousands of crores shown in the books of account was found to be highly overvalued and having actual value of Rs 10 crore synthetic ruby of insignificant value was shown as precious gem.
So far, three persons have been arrested in the case and a number of non-bailable warrants were issued.