DRI busts Rs 675 crore money laundering racket involving diamantaires from Surat and Hong Kong.


Money laundering racket was operated from SurSEZ in the guise of import and export of synthetic diamonds.

Surat (Gujarat) [India], December 14: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a Rs 675 crore money laundering racket being operated by the diamantaires from Surat and Hong Kong in the guise of importing and exporting synthetic diamonds from the Surat Special Economic Zone (SurSEZ).

The money laundering racket came to the fore when three persons running a jewellery manufacturing unit in the name of Karolina Trading Private Limited were caught illegally diverting cut and polished diamonds valued at Rs 1.34 crore from SurSEZ to the domestic tariff area (DTA) on December 19.

The accused identified as Rakesh Rampuria and Sagar Shah—who were controlling Karolina Trading at SurSEZ—and Vikash Chopra were arrested by the DRI officials from the exit gate of the SurSEZ at Sachin. The DRI officials recovered Rs 1.34 crore worth of cut and polished diamonds, that were transported outside the SEZ area illegally. Till now, natural diamond worth over Rs 16 crore has been diverted out of the SurSEZ.

The accused were presented in the Surat district and sessions court on Tuesday. The court has granted custodial remand of all the three accused of two days.

In a detailed application filed in the court, DRI stated that the accused were in touch with some unknown people in Hong Kong and that they were acting on their instructions received on the Whatsapp group.

Since the inception of their unit in the SEZ, the accused had imported synthetic diamonds i.e Moissanite diamond in the guise of natural cut and polished diamonds worth Rs 1,016 crore and that they made outward remittances to the tune of Rs 675 crore.