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Raids conducted at Kolkata businessman's premises, Swiss bank papers seized

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at the premises of arrested Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha here in connection with a money laundering case probe and said it seized some documents related to a purported Swiss bank account.

The ED is investigating Lodha after it booked him on criminal charges for his alleged involvement in two high-profile black money cases of illegal conversion of old notes in the wake of demonetisation.

Officials said the agency began the searches late in the afternoon here and covered two of his premises here at S N Roy road and Queens Park even as one of his locations in Delhi’s elite Lutyens Zone area was brought under the same operation a few days back.

Read | Paras Mal Lodha: A man best known for Peerless takeover attempt

They said that the agency, apart from seizing some computer peripherals and other hardware, has also recovered some documents, purported to be of a Swiss bank account in the name of a women, who could be associated to Lodha.

The agency, they said, will soon issue summons to some people associated to Lodha and involved in the case.

Lodha (62), at present, is in ED custody in Delhi after he was arrested by the agency last week.

Read | Demonetisation: Kolkata businessman arrested for converting Rs 25 crore banned currency

ED is understood to have confronted Lodha with advocate Rohit Tandon of T and T law firm (in Delhi), who has been questioned in the same case more than once by the investigating officer (IO) of the case in Delhi.

Lodha was arrested by the agency in “connection with the recovery of large amount in new currency notes from a company belonging to Tandon and J Shekhar Reddy of Chennai”.

The agency had earlier claimed that he was involved in a “deep-rooted conspiracy” in this case and that he was charging a commission “at the rate of 15-20 per cent” to convert old notes into new ones of several people.

It had said Lodha admitted that “post demonetisation he and his associates had converted old currency of at least Rs 25 crore into new currency notes”.

While Tandon’s case pertains to an operation of Delhi Police and the Income Tax department earlier this month when the agencies had allegedly seized Rs 13.6 crore from a law firm he is associated with, that of mining baron Reddy relates to Chennai where the income tax department has made the biggest detection of alleged unaccounted income of over Rs 142 crore.

Both the cases pertain to the ED’s anti-black money operations post the currency ban.

These two cases, involving Tandon and Reddy, are being probed by at least four agencies — the ED, the income tax department, the CBI and Delhi Police.

Source: HindustanTimes