BS-IV vehicles scam : ED attaches Rs 22 cr assets, Ashok Leyland role being probed

New Delhi, Nov 30 (Agency) The Directorate of Enforcement today said it has provisionally attached properties worth Rs.22.10 crore under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the BS-IV vehicles scam and that the role of CV major Ashok Leyland was being probed. Meanwhile, a top official in Ashok Leyland said that the ED probe is against a scrap customer and not against Ashok Leyland. “This matter reported seems to be pertaining to an old investigation from the year 2020 -2021. The investigation is not against Ashok Leyland, but against a third party scrap customer”, the official said. “We have submitted all documents and details sought by the ED , which has clearly established that we are not implicated in any manner”, he said.

“Ashok Leyland is compliant with all emission requirements,” the company added. In a statement, the ED said it has provisionally attached properties worth Rs.22.10 crore held in the names of firms connected to M/s Diwakar Road Lines and M/s. Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd, (controlled by J.C. Prabhakar Reddy, former MLA), M/s. C. Gopal Reddy and Co (belonging to his close associate Gopal Reddy, a civil contractor of Tadipatri, Ananthapur District of Andhra Pradesh) and family members of Prabhakar Reddy and Gopal Reddy in an ongoing investigation being conducted under PMLA, 2002 in the case relating to the BS-IV vehicles scam. ED said the Supreme Court vide its order dated March 29, 2017, had ordered that vehicles that were not compliant to BS IV emission norms should not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer with effect from April one, 2017 and that the registering authorities were also prohibited from registering such vehicles from April one, 2017 onwards.

However, M/s. Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd (JIPL) and M/s. C. Gopal Reddy and Co in contravention to the aforesaid Order purchased BS-III vehicles from Ashok Leyland Ltd at discount and fraudulently registered the same as BS-IV vehicles by fabricating the invoice copies. Investigation revealed that some of the registrations were done in Nagaland, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. ED has gathered evidences in the form of fabricated invoices from RTO Authorities in Nagaland and original invoices issued by Ashok Leyland as Scrap for the some vehicles and established the crime. The crime proceeds generated by owning/plying and/or selling these vehicles have been quantified as Rs 38.36 crore. As a result of the investigation and searches, movable properties to the extent of Rs. 6.31 crore consisting of bank balances, cash, jewellery and receivables as well as 68 number of immovable properties to the extent of Rs. 15.79 crore belonging to Prabhakar Reddy and his family member Gopal Reddy and his family members have been attached. Further investigation is in progress including the role of M/s. Ashok Leyland in the entire scam. But Ashok Leyland said the probe was against a third party scrap customer and not against the company.