Hyderabad: The sleuths of Enforcement Directorate (ED) have been granted custody of Deepak Agarwal and Ayush Goyal, accused in an alleged Rs 1500 trade-based money laundering scam.

The duo are accused of sending close to Rs. 1500 Crore outside India in the guise of import of fake "customized software". They evaded the illegal en-route.

The investigating agency took up the probe based on an FIR registered by Andhra Pradesh Police against Vaddi Mahesh and others, following a complaint by the Income Tax sleuths.

Investigation revealed that Vaddi Mahesh, in collusion with others, had incorporated various shell firms (ghost companies) in India and opened bank accounts in the names of these firms/companies. "Vaddi Mahesh received funds from various persons, that is Pramod Agarwal, Ayush Goyal, Vikas Gupta and Vinit Goenka which were deposited by him into the bank accounts of his firms and further transferred to the bank accounts of his shell companies" said ED officials.

ED found that funds were remitted outside India to various companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and China in the guise of payments for the import of "customized software". "He had prepared fake invoices (fake bills) purported to have been raised by those overseas companies, in the name of his Indian companies and had arranged fake certificates with the help of Chartered Accountants, who certified that the "customized software" was downloaded in their presence and those certificates were submitted to the banks as proof of import of software".

Deepak Agarwal is the Director of one of the Hong Kong based companies, which has received around Rs. 300 Crores worth of such foreign remittances. While, Ayush Goyal had supplied cash to Vaddi Mahesh and gave instructions about remitting funds outside India, investigation found.

This is the 3rd arrest in this case after the arrest of the main kingpin Bhimender Kumar Goyal who is presently lodged in Tihar Jail.

Coreena Suares

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