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16 Jan 2021, Edition - 2013, Saturday

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Coimbatore

Enforcement directorate attaches properties of PRP Granites, PRP Exports

Covai Post Network

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Chennai: PRP Granites and PRP exports are in for trouble with the enforcement directorate, the directorate having attached properties worth Rs. 528 crore in a case registered against the mining giant.

Per the case registered by the directorate, after investigations into money laundering allegations against the companies by Tamil Nadu police, along with accusations of illegal quarrying of granites causing huge losses to the exchequer as also to human life and unauthorized usage of explosive materials, it noted that PRP Granites and their partners entered into a criminal conspiracy to illegally quarry multi-colour granite stones from the non-lease hold lands. For this, they had submitted forged and fabricated documents / lease agreements relating to the adjoining lease hold lands in order to obtain mining permissions, according to ED officials in Chennai.

The companies also performed illegal quarrying of Government poramboke lands by removing boundary stones erected by the Revenue Department, the ED officials alleged. They used various machinery and explosive materials, without adhering to statutory obligations and safety precautions causing harm to human lives. They forged and fabricated documents for transporting illegally acquired granite blocks so as to cheat the statutory authorities and to camouflage illegally earned income, the ED said.

PRP Exports and PRP Granites are selling the illegally mined granite blocks in the international / domestic market in excess of the declared quantity, the ED officials alleged. The same was re-invested in the acquisition of immovable properties and mining lease license, gaining additional revenues. Thus, the proceeds of crime were integrated and projected as money acquired through legitimate business, the ED alleged.

During investigations, it was observed that during the 2006 to 2013 period, they acquired about 1,625 immovable properties of registered value of about Rs. 103 crores from the said proceeds of crime. It was also noticed that over Rs. 32 lakhs was in fixed deposits.

As these properties were involved in money laundering, the said Rs. 32,57,275 in the form of fixed deposits and the 1,625 immovable properties of present market value of Rs. 528 crore in the name of PRP Exports and PRP Granites and have been provisionally attached by the Directorate of Enforcement, Chennai, under the provisions of PMLA. Further investigations are on, ED said.

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