Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday attached Rs 246 crore worth properties of accused in Tamilnadu Guthka scam. The properties of the accused were attached in Tamilnadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh. Around 174 properties have been identified and apart from them Rs 2.3 crore vehicles of accused were provisionally attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Most of the investments were made in real estate sector in Guntur district near Andhra capital Amaravati. ED has conducted probe under PMLA based on Central Bureau of Investigation FIR into the Guthka scam. In September 2018 CBI had arrested the promoters and directors of Annamalai Industries. A V Madhava Rao, Umashakar Gupta and PV Srinivasa Rao were among arrested. It was alleged that the accused in the name of Jayam Industries(later renamed as Annamalai) had sold Gukta despite there is a ban.The accused promoters of the company bribed the officials of the Sales Tax Department, Customs and Central Excise, Food Safety and Drug Administration Department and jurisdictional police officials. The accused sold MDM brand gutka in the state even after the ban in nexus with the Tamilnadu officials. The investigation first started in July 2017 when Income Tax officials raided the offices and residences of the accused of evasion of the tax. During Income Tax searches I-T sleuths found the documents pertaining to the payments of the bribe amounts. A case was filed by a DMK leader in Madras High Court on April 2018 following which court ordered a CBI probe. CBI investigations found that the accused directors A V Madhava Rao, P V Srinivasa Rao, Tallam Uma Shankar Gupta, and others illegally manufacture, sold and distributed gutkha products and had a turnover of Rs 640 crore from 2013 to 2016. The ill-gotten money derived out of illegal gutka sale was invested in movable and immovable properties in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu by the accused. The accused purchased lands in the name of Gayathri Realtors, Medha Dairy Private Limited, Vaijayanthi Spinners. They also invested in Goutham Buddha Textile Park, Guntur.
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