ED attaches Rs 150 cr assets of Chennai firm

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth over Rs 150 crore of Chennai-based Gold Quest International Pvt Ltd in connection with a case of money circulation business and cheating public, an official said on Wednesday.

The agency attached the properties under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Immovable properties like residential buildings, vacant lands and commercial complexes in Chennai, Madurai, Hyderabad and Mumbai were attached by the agency along with Rs 5.3 crore cash, shares and mutual funds of Rs 14 crore, deposits of Rs 48 crore in various bank accounts and articles of gold and silver worth Rs 27 crore.

"People who were at the helm of affairs are Pushpam Appalanaidu, K. Padma, and Munnawar Ahamed. The financial investigations under PMLA revealed that these people acquired several properties using the crime in the name Gold Quest International, Quest net enterprises, Pallava Resorts and other companies," the official said. 

Based on various complaints, Tamil Nadu Police registered a case against Gold Quest International in 2009 for cheating the public by selling gold coins and other articles at exorbitant prices projecting the articles as limited edition products with numismatic value. 

Preliminary enquiries by police revealed that the company had expanded its operations by luring the people towards such articles and huge commissions were paid to the marketing employees.

Following the police investigation, the Enforcement Directorate stared its probe in 2016.