CBI books IFFCO MD Awasthi, others in graft case; raids 12 locations

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) In a massive action, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Wednesday that it has registered a case against U.S. Awasthi, MD and CEO of IFFCO, Pravinder Singh Gahlaut, MD of Indian Potash Ltd (IPL), and several others in connection with a corruption case.
The CBI also carried out searches at 12 locations across the country and recovered cash to the tune of Rs 8.8 lakh, FDR worth Rs 5.5 crore, details of 19 properties in several states and 14 bank account details.
CBI spokesperson R.C. Joshi said, “The CBI has registered a case on the basis of references from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and also based on other information against Awasthi, MD and CEO, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO); Gahlaut, MD of IPL; Amol Awasthi and Anupam Awasthi, both sons of the IFFCO MD and CEO and also promoters of Catalyst Business Associates Pvt Ltd; Vivek Gahlaut, son of IPL MD Gahlaut; Pankaj Jain of Jyoti Group of Companies and Rare Earth Group, Dubai; Sanjay Jain, brother of Pankaj Jain and also President of Jyoti Trading Corporation and beneficial owner of other entities of Jyoti Group; and Amrinder Dhari Singh, senior Vice President of Jyoti Trading Corporation, Dubai.”
Besides them, the CBI has also named Rajiv Saxena, a chartered accountant, who is the promoter of Midas Metal International LLC and other companies, Sushil Kumar Pachisia, an employee of Pankaj Jain, and unknown directors of IFFCO and unknown others.
Joshi said that in the complaint, it was alleged that IFFCO and IPL were importing huge quantities of fertilisers running into several thousands of MTs, along with raw materials for fertilisers from various foreign suppliers.
He said that it has been stated that the fertilisers are supplied to the farmers in India and the Government of India has been providing subsidy on fertilisers to facilitate supply to the farmers at reasonable rates.
In the complaint, it was also alleged that in order to cheat government by claiming higher subsidy, these officials of IFFCO and IPL have been importing fertilizers and raw materials through Kisan International Trading FZE in Dubai, a subsidiary of IFFCO and other middlemen at highly inflated rates covering the commission meant for the accused including MD of IFFCO and MD of IPL, which was paid or transferred by the overseas suppliers to the accused officials through sham transactions involving the said accused.
He said that all these imports were done between 2013 and 2017.
Joshi said that searches are being carried out at the office and residential premises of the accused persons in 12 locations, including Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai etc.
He said that during the searches, the CBI has recovered cash to the tune of Rs 8.80 lakh from the premises of Awasthi, while from the premises of Gehlaut, the agency seized FDRs of over Rs 5.5 crore in his name, 14 bank account details, and details or documents of around 19 immovable properties in Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Gurugram, Delhi and Sonipat.

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