The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday attached assets worth Rs 31.35 crore in the Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna Urban Co-Operative Society fraud case involving Sandalwood producer Anand Balakrishna Appugol under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Appugol has produced the super hit Kannada movie "Sangolli Rayanna" starring Kannada super star Darshan.
Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna is an iconic freedom fighter from Belagavi district, who along with the famous Kitturu Rani Chennamma fought the Brtishers. The Kitturu principality is located in Belagavi district bordering Maharashtra, which is 500 km from Bengaluru.
According to the press release issued by the department, the ED attached 31 immovable assets and balances in 32 bank accounts amounting to Rs 31.35 crore of Appugol, the Chairman of Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna Co-Operative Society, and his associates under the PMLA.
The note further added that the ED initiated investigations under the PMLA based on the FIR registered by the Khadebazar Police Station, Belagavi City, in 2017 against Anand Balakrishna Appugol, Chairman of Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna Co-Operative Society, and 15 others for embezzling more than Rs 232.69 crore collected from more than 1,300 members through fixed deposits by promising them high rate of interest ranging from 12 to 16 per cent per annum.
The note claimed that the accused did not return the money to the public in time and committed breach of trust and cheated the public at large.
The ED note added that the investigation under PMLA revealed that during the period between 12.08.2017 and 01.09.2017, Anand Appugol, Chairman and Managing Director, Board of Directors, Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna Co-Operative Society, colluded with others to divert funds and large sums collected from the gullible investors.
"These funds were further layered into immovable properties in the name of accused Anand Appugol and others. Investigation conducted so far lead to the identification of the proceeds of crime in the form of 31 immovable properties consisting of agricultural land, commercial complexes, house etc. in Belgavi district, held in the name of Anand Appugol, his wife Prema Appugol and Shivmurthy Chivgol, both directors, Mahantesh Angadi, assistant secretary of the society, and Sanjay Patil, a close associate of Anand Appugol, and others.
"These identified immovable assets along with balances lying in 32 bank accounts have been provisionally attached under PMLA," the note explained.