3 June 2021
An official of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) allegedly extorted ₹500,000 from a businessman in connection with an instant mobile app loan case. Bengaluru ED was investigating a money laundering case which was referred by the Cyber Crime unit of the Hyderabad police. The probe was conducted by Manoj Mittal, Deputy Director, ED Bengaluru. He was assisted by Lalit Bazad.
Lalit made out a summons by email to Mikhil Innani, who was the Managing Director of Apollo Finvest, Mumbai. The summons required Mikhil to appear at the Bengaluru ED office on 9 February 2021. Mikhil duly appeared at the office along with his wife and a cousin and met Lalit. Lalit then contacted Mr. Mikhil Innani on WhatsApp and demanded ₹500,000 to de-freeze the company’s bank account frozen by the ED. He was told to arrange the money the same day. Lalit told the money to be delivered to him at a pub in Bengaluru.
A packet containing Rs.500,000 was kept in Lalit’s car by pub parking staff. The staff received it from one Manvender Bhati who gave it on instructions of a jewellery businessman Rajendra Jain. Jain gave cash to Bhati following instructions from Hosur-based granite businessman Suni at the request from Mikhil’s relative.
Apollo Finvest’s bank account was frozen de-frozen on February 16 after getting the money.
The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) alleged that threat of freezing the accounts and false implication in the case was used by Mr. Bazad to demand illegal gratification. CBI has booked a case against Lalit Bazad.
(US$ 1 = Indian Rupees72.91)