ED attaches properties of Udhayanidhi Stalin Foundation worth Rs. 35 lakhs

27 May, 2023 | Nishtha Gupta

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Enforcement Directorate has seized Rs 34.7 lakh belonging to the Udayanidhi Stalin Foundation in Tamil Nadu as part of a money laundering investigation.

On Saturday, officials confirmed that the Enforcement Directorate has seized Rs. 34.7 lakh belonging to the Udayanidhi Stalin Foundation in Tamil Nadu as part of a money laundering investigation.

Based on an FIR filed by the Central Crime Branch-I, Chennai, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated investigations. The complaint alleged that the Kallal Group and its Directors/founders, Saravanan Palaniappan, Vijaykumaran, Aravinth Raj, Vijay Ananth, Mrs. Lakshmi Muthuraman, and Mrs. Preetha Vijayananth, along with their associates, defrauded Gaurav Chachra, the Director of M/s Pettigo Commercio Internacional Lda (a subsidiary of the UK-based Lyca Group with a significant presence in India through Lyca Productions, Lyca Hotels, etc.), of Rs 114.37 crore.

ED’s investigations uncovered a larger fraud amount of Rs 300 crore, as it was found that the Lyca Group had made additional investments or loans to the accused group and its entities without proper due diligence or justification. Consequently, searches were conducted on April 27, 2023, and May 16, 2023, at the premises associated with both the accused and the complainant. 

These searches resulted in the discovery of various incriminating pieces of evidence, including digital evidence, documents, properties, and suspicious cash and hawala transactions. The ED is currently scrutinizing and investigating these findings.

As of May 25, 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken measures to safeguard a portion of the illicitly acquired funds. They have provisionally attached various immovable properties located throughout Tamil Nadu, valued at Rs 36.3 Crore. Additionally, the ED has also attached Rs 34.7 lakh found in the bank account of M/s Udayanidhi Stalin Foundation, as it was discovered that the foundation had received proceeds of crime totaling Rs 1 Crore. The trustees of the foundation were unable to provide a valid explanation for the receipt of funds from the parties involved in the case.

Therefore, the total amount of proceeds of crime in this particular case is approximately Rs 300 crore. Out of this amount, immovable properties valued at Rs 36.3 Crore and movable properties in the form of bank accounts with an available balance of Rs 34.7 Lakhs have been attached by the ED.