Diamond merchant suspected of money laundering now booked for holding fake Interpol ID
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has lodged a case with Mumbai Police against a city-based diamond merchant, who was in possession of a fake ‘Interpol International Police’ identity card.
ED officials found the card on Saturday while they were searching his Worli home as a part of their country-wide action against shell firms.
The merchant, Chetan Shah, was on the ED’s radar for allegedly floating over a dozen shell companies for the purpose of money laundering.
He had also availed a loan of Rs 300 crore from banks, which he defaulted and is therefore being probed under FEMA.
The agency recovered the ID, with the official logo of the international police organisation crudely copied with markings that read “Interpol International Police”, from Shah’s laptop.
The fake photographic ID mentioned his designation as “Special Agent, Anti-Terrorism Division, Department of Investigations”.
On the reverse side of the ID, the agency found Shah’s thumb impression and personal details like date of birth, height, hair colour, weight, blood group and few vague signatures.
The agency is now investigating as to how the fake ID was made and whether it was used to con or cheat anyone by wrongly depicting the person as an Interpol official.
ED sleuths have also picked up other documents from his home for further probe.
The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) or INTERPOL, is an intergovernmental organization which facilitates international police cooperation. It has members from 190 countries.
Shah, who owns an office at Shreeji Chambers in Opera House, has been absconding since his home was searched. He and his wife Hema are promoters of Decent Diamond Pvt Ltd, a diamond company and directors of at least 15 shell companies.
After ED’s complaint, Worli police registered a case against Shah under section 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) of the IPC. The investigation into the creation and possession of the fake Interpol ID would be undertaken by Mumbai Police.
“We are looking into this case. Shah remained absconding even before the searches and now even his wife is not around. Once we interrogate both of them, we would be able to comment on the usage of the fake Interpol ID,” said Mumbai Police DCP Pravin Padwal.
The ED reportedly conducted country-wide searches at 110 locations as part of its major crackdown on 500 shell companies which were suspected of generating a lot of black money.