Chennai: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday attached properties worth Rs 150 crore and cash belonging to Gold Quest international.
The firm was in the business of selling gold coins and other articles at exorbitant rates saying they were limited edition products and of high numismatic value and the marketing was also done in a pyramid model in which the earlyones made money at the expense of others joining the scheme later.
Based on various complains of cheating from public, Tamil Nadu police had registered a case in 2009 against Gold Quest. Initial probe by the police revealed that the company was expanding its operation by luring gullible public towards such articles and huge commissions were paid to the marketing people, similar to the system that exists in multi-level marketing.
ED registered a case of money laundering against the company in 2016 after it appeared that money laundering was involved in the operations of the firm. ED, before attaching the properties provisionally, had examined senior company executives including Mrs Pushapam Appalanaidu, Mrs. K.Padma and Munnawar Ahamed and extracted statements from them.
The attached properties include residential properties, vacant lands, commercial complexes in Chennai, Madurai, Hyderabad and Mumbai worth Rs 56 crore and cash Rs 53 crore seized during police search, shares and mutual funds worth Rs 14 crore, deposits in banks worth Rs 48 crore and gold/silver articles worth Rs 27 crore.