ED files charge sheet against former AIADMK Minister in Gutkha scam case

ED stated that illegal manufacture and sale of Gutkha products in Tamil Nadu between 2013 and 2016 had yielded a turnover of Rs 639.40 crore
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a Prosecution Complaint under PMLA against former AIADMK Minister B V Ramana in connection with the Gutkha scam. The ED also filed complaint against S Vignesh, Proprietor, Annamalai Industries, officers of Tamilnadu Police, Food Safety Department, State & Central GST & others in Principal Sessions Court, Chennai in Gutka Scam among others.

ED stated that illegal manufacture and sale of Gutkha products in Tamil Nadu between 2013 and 2016 had yielded a turnover of Rs 639.40 crore.

ED has registered a case under the provisions of PMLA against unknown officials of State and Central Government, Public servants and others for misuse of Official position by Criminal conspiracy and demand of illegal gratification, based on a FIR filed by the CBI, New Delhi.

The FIR registered by CBI was pursuant to the directions in order dated April 26, 2018 of the Madras High Court to conduct investigations into all aspects of the offence of illegal manufacture, import, supply, distribution and sale of Gutkha and other chewable tobacco which were banned in the State of Tamilnadu and Union Territory of Puduchery effective May 2013.
ED said investigation under PMLA revealed that the three associates--A V Madhava Rao, P V Srinivasa Rao, Tallam Uma Shankar Gupta--who had engaged in illegal manufacture, sale and distribution of Gutkha products in Tamil Nadu had effected a turnover of Rs 639.40 crore between May 2013 and June 2016 and the money derived out of the illegal business was invested in movable and immovable properties in Andhra Pradesh, Puduchery and Tamil Nadu.

These assets were bought in the name of family members/relatives and entities owned by them and their families. The criminal activity related to the payment of bribes to the Central and State Government officials as quid pro quo for allowing the illegal business of Gutkha and other tobacco products which are banned in Tamil Nadu.

Criminal activity is related to the scheduled offence under PMLA and therefore, the movable and immovable properties acquired by means of illegal manufacture and sale of Gutkha amounting to Rs 246.10 crore were attached under PMLA.

Now, a prosecution complaint has been filed before The Court of Principal Sessions Judge at Chennai against the accused with a prayer for rewarding punishment to the accused persons and confiscation of attached properties totaling to Rs 246.10 crore, according to ED.

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