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Money Laundering: Case filed by ED against Veena Vijayan, daughter of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, over allegations of ‘illegal payments’

ED has booked Veena and others after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against Veena Vijayan, daughter of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, PTI reported on Wednesday (27th March) citing sources. The agency has also booked Veena Vijayan’s Bengaluru-based IT firm, Exalogic Solutions, and several others in this case. It is alleged that a private mineral firm made ‘illegal payments’ to Kerala CM’s daughter Veena and her company without it offering any service to the mining firm.  

The sources added that Enforcement Directorate has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It is expected to summon the people involved in this matter. 

According to the sources, ED has booked Veena and others after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). The SFIO is an investigative arm of the Union corporate affairs ministry. 

According to reports, the SFIO is already investigating transactions suspected to be illegal payments for favours received by a mining firm from the Kerala government for sand mining in coastal areas of Alappuzha and Kollam.

The case came to light after an Income Tax Department report revealed that the minerals company Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) had made an “illegal payment” of Rs 1.72 crore to Exalogic Solutions. According to the IT Department report, these payments were made from 2018 to 2019, even though Veena’s IT firm had not provided any service to the mining firm company, CMRL.

Last month, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a plea filed by Exalogic Solutions against the probe initiated by the SFIO.

Earlier this year, on January 31st, Exalogic Solution, the IT company of Kerala CM’s daughter, approached the Karnataka High Court after the central government directed the SFIO to investigate the matter.

In its petition to the High Court, the IT firm argued that Section 212, under which the SFIO initiated an investigation, is a serious provision along the lines of those under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), as reported by the Indian Express. Such sections are used in serious cases involving hundreds of crores of rupees.

According to reports, the ED’s Kochi office has initiated action by filing an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in connection with the allegations. ECIR is considered an equivalent to an FIR in police parlance. 

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