Sleuths from the Enforcement Directorate arrested Surat-based businessman Kishore Bhajiawala on Friday in connection with a money laundering case and for allegedly using 1,000 fake IDs to illegally convert Rs 1 crore in old notes into new post demonetisation.
The agency said it has placed "Jignesh Kishorebhai Bhajiawala (41) under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at about 11:45pm on Thursday at is sub-zonal office in Surat.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a criminal FIR against Bhajiawala and some of his family members based on a CBI FIR against him, which was booked after the Income Tax department first conducted searches and seized gold and cash from his premises as part of their operation in December last year to check blackmoney post the notes ban.
The case had gained prominence after investigating agencies detected the proverbial rags-to-riches ascent of the 'chaiwala'-turned-financier based in the diamond city of Gujarat.
"The Bhajiawala family has converted a huge amount of their unaccounted money, post demonetisation, into new high denomination currency and other valuables through collusion with bank officials and private persons by impersonating, forgery and by using forged documents.
"An amount of over Rs 1.02 crore in new currency was seized by the I-T department from his premises during searches at his home, shop and bank lockers held by them. It was also found that the accused had hired several bank lockers in benami names to stash their unaccounted assets," the ED alleged.
(With inputs from PTI)