Zaveri Bazaar
Zaveri Bazaar

Late on Friday night, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted a raid in south Mumbai's jewellery unit hub, Zaveri Bazaar. Acting on a tip-off, ED officers entered the Khara Kuva office of Balaji Bullion and Commodities India Private Limited on the third floor of Ashok House.

Allegedly owned by a person named Manoj Punamiya, who is also said to be involved in a scam along with co-accused and former Jharkhan CM Madhu Koda, the firm is said to have been involved in money laundering.

In November 2009, Koda was arrested on charges of accepting Rs 4,000 crore in bribe for allotting contracts to firms or business house, for mining. According to an officer, who did not wish to be identified, ED seized two bank accounts of the firm which had a total deposit of Rs 1.5 crores.

"Till now, we have found that around R69 crores have been transferred to these accounts and companies formed. We suspect the firm created shell companies to convert black money into legal white money by showing income to the new companies," said a senior officer.

He added that the firm's bank accounts had been dormant but after the demonetisation announcement, they showed large transactions. "After demonetisation many people purchased jewellery and now they have started selling jewellery and getting new cash. Also the accused Punamiya was already booked in Koda scam where he allegedly converted R59 crore of black money into white with the help of shell companies," said the officer.

"At this moment we won't be able to divulge further details," he added.