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Money laundering suspected: Delhi court orders police to register criminal case against pvt equity firm

New Delhi: The Patiala House Court has directed Delhi Police to register a criminal case against a private equity firm and 12 others in their alleged involvement in a case of cheating, criminal conspiracy and money laundering.

The order was passed on a complaint by Subhash Chaudhuri, a former associate of Super-Max. Super-Max is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of shaving products after Gillette. London-based Actis, which has $10 billion in assets under management, invested in Super-Max in March 2011.

The complainant had alleged in his petition that the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police failed to act on his complaint in June last year. He further submitted that Actis conspired to gain control over the finances, ownership and management of the Super-Max Group.

The judge, after hearing the arguments of both the parties, held that prima facie, cognizable offences appear to have been committed.

The allegations point towards deep conspiracy which not only have ramification qua the complainant and the alleged victim companies but may lead to unearthing large-scale money-laundering activities being done by the accused persons,” the judge said in the order.

The court directed the Economic Offences Wing to register an FIR “under appropriate sections, uninfluenced by sections and the names of accused mentioned in the complaint, and investigate.

In its complaint the complainant alleged that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy with the “aim to gain complete control over the finances, ownership and management of the SM Group.” It was alleged that the accused concealed money by misusing India’s investment-friendly environment to “cheat an Indian business and commit various other criminal offences.”

The complainant sought registration of an FIR on charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal intimidation.

The complainant said the books of accounts of Supermax Personal Care Pvt Ltd. (SPCPL), an SM Group company, are “being altered, falsified and material particulars in such books of accounts are being omitted or altered with an intent to defraud SPCPL’s creditors at large, as well as the SM group.”

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It added that “through such misrepresentations and falsified accounts, the accused have induced investors to invest into SPCPL, thereby causing wrongful gain upon themselves and wrongful loss to the said investors.”

-India Legal Bureau

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