The ED has arrested a 35-year-old Indian director of a Hong Kong-based bogus diamond trading company in connection with a Rs 1,500-crore money laundering case, in which Mumbai-based diamond trading company Rajeshwar Export illegally sent the money abroad.
Kritika Dahal was intercepted at the airport and arrested on Saturday.
The scam was unearthed a few months ago when ED had been keeping an eye on some bank accounts' transactions after demonetisation.
"Dahal was running a one-employee bogus company, where she was the director, shareholder and the employee," said an official. She claims she did it at the behest of main accused Ritesh Jain (of Rajeshwar Export).
"She had also opened two accounts in Hong Kong for this and around Rs 1,000 crore were remitted to her company," the officer added.
The Parel-based diamond firm had been booked in a PMLA case earlier this year after ED officers found out that it had allegedly been using the hawala channel to take Rs 1,500 crore out of the country in the last one year as payments for import of rough diamonds from Honk Kong and Dubai companies. Dahal's firm was one of these.
The accused's firm sent it via multiple layering with the help of 10 bogus firms.
"The probe revealed that from over two dozen bank accounts of these shell companies, money was deposited into Rajeshwar Export's accounts. It was sent abroad as payments for diamonds. To dodge vigilance agencies, the company showed that they exported finished diamonds, but there was no remittance received," an officer said.
Rs 1k-cr Money the accused received in her firm's account
10 No. of shell firms floated for the illegal transactions