Visakhapatnam: Enforcement Directorate ( ED) has provisionally attached Rs 18.6 crore worth assets of Kaka Group, Shashi Goyal, and Pragati Print Pack Private Limited under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The attached assets include agricultural land, commercial sites and plots, residential flat, and a fixed deposit. The ED had initiated a money-laundering investigation based on an FIR registered by the Vizag police against Vaddi Mahesh and others for fraudulently remitting huge foreign outward remittances to various front companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China on the pretext of import of non-existent customized software.

Vaddi Mahesh, who is supposedly the kingpin in multi-crore hawala or laundering scam, unearthed by Income Tax Department was arrested by Vizag police in May 2017.

The Rs 1600 crore money laundering was unearthed by IT officials in Vizag city. IT officials have named Vaddi Mahesh, his father Vaddi Srinivasa Rao, his friends Achanta Harish and Chanta Rajesh, all native of West Godavari, and Kolkata based Charted Accountants (CAs) Prasanta Kumar Roy Barman, Praveen Kumar Jha, and Kolkata based businessmen Ayush Goel, Vineet Goenka, and Vikar Gupta in the scam.

Investigation revealed that Mahesh had floated several shell firms in India and opened many accounts with banks in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. Based on the instructions of Bhimendra Kumar (BK) Goyal, he had remitted Rs 1,500 crore to around 40 foreign shell companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China in the guise of payments for import of non-existent "customized software" and further revealed that BK Goyal was the mastermind behind the money-laundering operation and supplied the funds.

BK Goyal had also incorporated companies in Singapore and Hong Kong with his wife Shashi Goyal and son Rahul Goyal as directors and laundered part of the proceeds of crime to their companies, ED said.

Fund trail investigation of several bank accounts was done to trace the source of the domestic funds. ED trailed the funds back up to 3-4 layers and discovered cash infusion points. Also, Rs 20 lakh was received from Pragati Print Pack Pvt Ltd. bank account.

Investigations based on an FIR registered by the Vizag police revealed that was the mastermind behind the money-laundering operation and also supplied funds.

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