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Did Gitanjali Gems inflate SEZ exports, stocks book value?.


Date: 19-02-2018
Subject: Did Gitanjali Gems inflate SEZ exports, stocks book value?
HYDERABAD: Did the Gitanjali group inflate the book value of diamonds and gems exports from Hyderabad SEZ?

Enforcement Directorate sleuths, after sealing five strong rooms containing diamonds and precious stones in Hyderabad Gems SEZ of Gitanjali group has begun to examine the records to find evidence of inflation of book value of diamond stocks. The SEZ is a 100 per cent export oriented unit where raw material imported from Hong Kong are exported to countries like UAE.

Punjab National Bank Hyderabad deputy general manager Rajeev Puri told TOI that the computer-based inventory of five companies show that Rs 3,800 crore worth of diamonds and gems were in stock at the time of seizure. ED Mumbai officials are also likely to join local sleuths for the evaluation, which is expected to take 10-15 days to complete. The team will look into suspected inflation of book value of stocks and cooking of books.

According to the 2016-17 annual report of Gitanjali Gems, total standalone comprehensive income of the group was Rs 41 crore and consolidated income was Rs 143 crore. Rajeev Puri who led the PNB team that assisted Enfordement Directorate officials during the seizure on Thursday night told TOI, ”ED seized the movable assets and also took possession of the documents of immovable assets. PNB Hyderabad has no exposure to the group companies in question now. ED will shift the seized properties to a safer location. As our bank in Mumbai and Surat had exposure to the overall operations of the company, we are assisting the agency. There are five strong rooms, and in one room ED found 100 boxes of precious stones. The computer inventory shows Rs 3,800 crore worth stocks. They have to be evaluated by experts.”

”We were surprised to see the low level of security for such high value items” he added.

ED Assistant Director V Phani Kumar has signed the seal on the strong room counter signed by Gitanjali senior employee Virendra Shah and PNB officials. Investigating agencies will record the statemetns of a customs official posted at the SEZ and development commissioner of SEZ, TSIIC officials and senior employees of the Gitanjali group.

Units of Gitnajali group- Naksthra Brans Limited, Bezel Jewellery Private Limited, Nakshatra World Limited, and Gilli India Limited were sealed under PMLA. The balancesheets of all these companies in 2017 show that the total assets and total equity and liabilities are equal and the profit for most of the companies is shown ranging between a few lakhs to Rs 1 crore. For instance, the profit of Bezel Jewellery is shown as Rs 9.5 lakh in 2017, sources said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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