India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), the state agency that deals with economic offences, arrested on May 25, Bhoopesh Kumar Jain, the Managing Director of Kanishk Gold Private Limited (KGPL) on charges of money laundering. The jewellery retailer stands accused of defrauding a consortium of 14 banks of ₹824.15 crore ($122 million).
Jain and his wife Neeta, who are both promoters of KGPL, were questioned in March this year after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the firm after banks discovered that supposed stocks of gold for which loans were advanced to the company, were non-existent.
The couple reportedly fled to Mauritius in April, when the company’s assets and fixed deposits worth cumulative ₹191 crore were frozen or attached by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Now back in India, Jain was arrested and remanded to judicial custody till June 8. The ED said that the arrest was necessitated because it was felt Jain could try to tamper with evidence and records to ‘manipulate the in favour of his cause’. The agency said Jain had not cooperated with the investigation or revealed any information so far.