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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized Rs 88 lakh belonging to a businessman whose name was mentioned in the Panama Papers leak for establishing an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands. Sanjay Vijay Shinde, who was previously linked to Dempo Holdings, had his premises raided by the agency last week.

The raids took place at four locations in Madhya Pradesh and Goa as part of a money laundering case registered against Shinde by the ED.

According to the ED statement released on Friday, Sanjay Vijay Shinde’s name appeared in the Panama Papers Leak, which exposed individuals with beneficial interests in offshore entities. Shinde had beneficial interests in a British Virgin Islands-based offshore entity that received over Rs 31 crore from various offshore entities.

The income tax department initially investigated the matter and filed a prosecution complaint against Shinde under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act, 2015. Subsequently, the ED initiated an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

Searches were conducted at four premises related to Sanjay Vijay Shinde, including his residential locations in Goa and Bhopal, premises of his former employer M/s VS Dempo Holdings Pvt Ltd in Goa, and premises of M/s RPM Sonic Adventures and M/s Caravan Resorts in Bhopal. The ED recovered Rs 88.30 lakh in cash and various incriminating documents during the searches.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Shinde, a director at Venus Bay Offshore Ltd in Goa, made investments in BVI around 2008 and holds accounts with Portcullis Trustnet (BVI) Limited and UBS-Ag, Singapore.

Shinde, an iron ore commission agent involved in import-export business and consultancy for iron ore traders, is suspected of laundering commissions to BVI to evade taxes. He also has interests in adventure sports, exotic resorts, and kart racing in Bhopal and Goa.

Previously employed by the Dempo Group in the mining sector, Shinde later moved to the coal business in Indonesia. A senior official from the company mentioned that the ED visited their corporate office in Panaji and found no connection to Shinde’s activities.

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