INDIA. Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched 16 premises across Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi of the Chennai-based Securekloud Technologies Limited (STL), engaged in Cloud services, on charges of diverting funds of the company to unrelated business activities, thus attracting the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), on Friday.
As per the press release issued by ED on Friday, besides STL (a listed company), other firms- Pro Fin Capital Services Limited, Quantum Global Securities Limited (QGSL) (listed company), Unity Global Financial Services Pvt Limited, Desert River Capital Pvt Ltd engaged in share brokerage and financial services were also searched.
The searches led to the seizure of Rs 1.04 crore in cash, gold, and diamond jewellery and the identification of immovable properties worth over Rs. 30 Crore. The ED came across other movable assets in various DMAT accounts. The incriminating documents and digital pieces of evidence were seized during the raids.
The action was initiated based on an FIR (No 39/2019) dated February 02, registered by Suresh Venkatachari, the promoter, and CEO of STL, before the Central Crime Branch-I(CCB-I), Chennai u/s 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120B of IPC against QGSL and its Director and Rohit Arora. Since the FIR covered scheduled offence u/s 420, 471 & 120B of IPC, a case was booked under PMLA.
However, the investigation revealed that the complaint lodged by Suresh Venkatachari was misleading since he and his CFO were involved in a larger conspiracy to cheat the public by way of inflating books of the company and diverting funds of the company to the unrelated business activities of companies.
The STL, earlier known as 8k Miles Software Services Limited, , a software and IT services company, is having presence in India and USA. Venkata complained against some share brokers and financial service provider companies, alleging that these companies sold the shares pledged by the STL to borrow loans.
Besides, the share brokers forged the signatures on Delivery Instruction slips and sold the shares in off-market.
PMLA investigation revealed that the directors and beneficial owners of the above-mentioned share brokerage and financial services companies transferred the shares worth Rs.160 crore in off-market and subsequently sold the same to generate huge proceeds of crime, with tacit support and connivance of senior management of STL.
The larger conspiracy of promoters of listed companies and the share broking companies that have provided loans and allegedly sold away the company shares is under investigation from the perspective of money laundering, the ED release read.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already banned STL from the securities market for allegedly manipulating financial statements and misappropriating company funds, till further orders, in August this year.