ED seizes assets worth 37 crore belonging to Amber Dalal and family

This crackdown by the ED marks a significant step in unraveling what appears to be a sophisticated financial fraud operation, impacting a diverse group of investors and spanning international borders.

ED seizes assets worth 37 crore belonging to Amber Dalal and family

In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted synchronized raids across multiple locations in Mumbai on Friday. The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into Amber Rameshchandra Dalal, a prominent chartered accountant and investment consultant accused of defrauding 2,009 investors from Mumbai, amounting to a staggering Rs 1,100 crore. During the raids, the ED seized assets worth Rs 37 crore belonging to Dalal and his family, freezing bank funds, cash holdings, and Demat accounts.

Dalal Faces Allegations Under PMLA

Dalal, proprietor of M/s Ritz Consultancy Services, is currently facing charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. These charges stem from a Mumbai Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) FIR filed earlier this year following a complaint by a fashion designer in Juhu. Initially evading authorities, Dalal was apprehended in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, after a 12-day pursuit. Subsequently, the EOW compiled a comprehensive 44,000-page chargesheet under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act, identifying assets worth Rs 17 crore linked to Dalal.

Allegations of Investment Fraud and Deception

According to investigators, Dalal allegedly lured investors with promises of monthly returns ranging from 1.5% to 1.8%, purportedly through risk-free commodity trading since 2016. He restricted investments to amounts exceeding Rs 10 lakh and reportedly continued to make regular payments to investors until February this year. Among those affected by Dalal’s scheme were prominent figures including Bollywood artists, businessmen, lawyers, and fellow chartered accountants, highlighting the wide-ranging impact of the alleged fraud.

ED Uncovers Extensive Network

The ED's investigation revealed that Dalal raised funds by falsely claiming investments in nine commodities, promising annual returns of 18-22% to potential investors, including individuals from the UAE and USA. The agency uncovered a complex network involving stockbrokers and investment advisors who allegedly facilitated investments in exchange for commissions. Furthermore, the ED disclosed that Dalal diverted approximately Rs 51 crore from his consultancy firm's accounts to personal accounts, subsequently using these funds to acquire assets domestically and abroad, including eight properties in India and two overseas.

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