The Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons acclaimed actor Prakash Raj in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged ₹100 crore ponzi and fraud case against Tiruchirapalli-based Pranav Jewellers. The investigation centres around financial irregularities associated with the jewellery firm, which was raided by the ED on November 20.
ACTOR’S ROLE AS BRAND AMBASSADOR UNDER SCRUTINY
Prakash Raj, a national award-winning actor, faces questioning as the former brand ambassador of Pranav Jewellers. The ED seeks to ascertain purported payments made by the company to the actor and delve into other financial transactions. Raj, aged 58, has been summoned to depose before an investigation officer in Chennai in the first week of December.
ED RAIDS REVEAL SEIZED ASSETS AND UNEXPLAINED CASH
ED’s searches on Pranav Jewellers, conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with a Ponzi Scheme, yield significant findings. The authorities claim to have seized Rs 23.70 lakh in cash and 11.60 kg of gold jewellery during the raids on November 20. Various incriminating documents were also reportedly discovered.
ALLEGATIONS OF CHEATING PUBLIC FUNDS
The ED’s probe into Pranav Jewellers stems from an FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing, Trichy. The firm is accused of collecting Rs 100 crore from the public through a gold investment scheme, promising high returns but failing to fulfil obligations. The investigation reveals that the company diverted public funds to shell entities, using them for fraudulent activities.
CONFESSIONS OF ENTRY PROVIDERS AND CASH TRANSACTIONS
Searches on Pranav Jewellers expose supplier parties as entry providers who confessed to providing adjustment/accommodation entries exceeding Rs 100 crore. Additionally, they admitted to giving cash to the accused persons in exchange for bank payments. The ED alleges that these practices were part of a larger scheme to deceive the public.
UNRAVELING FINANCIAL DECEPTION
The ED’s findings during the raids reveal a complex web of alleged fraud, diversion of funds, and collusion with entry providers. This incident not only raises questions about the due diligence in celebrity endorsements but also highlights the need for stringent measures to curb fraudulent schemes that prey on the public. As the investigation unfolds, the case sheds light on the vulnerabilities within the financial systems and the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the market.