The Enforcement Directorate (ED), this week, had arrested an alleged ‘middleman and main beneficiary’residing in West Bengal in a case related to loss of Rs 173.50 crores to National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), caused due to wrongful invocation of bank guarantees/ invocation of fake bank Guarantees.

According to a statement issued by the ED on Thursday, the accused has been identified as Debabrata Haldar, who was arrested on Wednesday under the provisions of the Prevention of money-laundering Act, 2002 in the matter.

“A day before the arrest, ED had carried out a search operation at six different places in West Bengal. As a result of the search operation, two vehicles one Toyota Fortuner, and one Toyota Corola Altis (worth Rs 50 lakh) cash and jewelry (worth Rs 18.4 Lakhs) were seized and an amount of Rs 3.95 Crore, lying in the bank accounts of related fictitious MSME firms has been frozen under PMLA,” the official statement read.

“ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered by the CID, West Bengal. There is a total loss of Rs 173.50 Crore to NSIC lent under its Raw Material Assistance Scheme (RMA Scheme) through criminal conspiracy by submitting Bank Guarantees (BGs) of other unconnected entities and fake BGs, purported to be issued by various branches of the erstwhile United Bank of India, Kolkata which came to fore when these were enforced by NSIC,” it added.

The ED stated further that the funds of NSIC obtained under its RMA Scheme, was laundered/ diverted through accounts of various fictitious supplier firms. RMA scheme has been devised to provide credit facilities to various needy MSME firms.