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ED files prosecution complaint against Annamalai Industries proprietor, aides over Gutka business irregularities

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2021 21:25 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 19 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a prosecution complaint against S Vignesh, proprietor of Annamalai Industries and his associates who ran an illegal Gutka business in Chennai.
The ED filed the charge sheet under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
The complaint was also registered against seven public servants including B Venkat Ramana, former Member of Legislative Assembly along with 2 officers from Tamil Nadu Police Department, 2 Officers of Food Safety Department, 2 officers from Commercial Tax department (now State GST) and one officer from the Central Excise Department (now Central GST).
Based on an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the case is against the misuse of official position by criminal conspiracy and demand of illegal gratification.
The FIR registered by CBI was in accordance with the directions of Tamil Nadu High Court to conduct investigations into illegal manufacture, import, supply, distribution and sale of Gutkha and other chewable tobacco.

These products were banned in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry with effect from May 2013.
The investigation under PMLA revealed that associates-- A.V.Madhava Rao, P.V.Srinivasa Rao, Tallam Uma Shankar Gupta & others-- were doing illegal manufacture, sale and distribution of Gutkha products in Tamil Nadu and had a turnover of Rs 639.40 crores from May 2013 to June 2016.
The above 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 crores resulting were attached under PMLA.
Prosecution complaint has been filed before the Court of Principal Sessions Judge at Chennai with a request for awarding punishment to the accused persons and confiscation of attached properties totalling Rs246.10 crores.
The illegal money was invested in movable and immovable properties in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Further investigation is under progress. (ANI)