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Economic Fraud

ED Arrests Businessman in ₹263 Crore IT Refund Fraud Case

In a major crackdown on financial crime, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Indian businessman Rajesh Brijlal Batreja in connection with a ₹263 crore income tax refund fraud. The ED’s investigation revealed Batreja’s role in diverting and laundering funds through shell companies and hawala channels.



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Mumbai: In a significant move to curb financial fraud, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Rajesh Brijlal Batreja on May 16, 2024, in connection with an income tax refund fraud amounting to ₹263 crores. The arrest was made under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, by the ED’s Mumbai Zonal Office.

The investigation, which stems from an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1986, implicates Mr. Adhikari and others in fraudulently generating and issuing Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refunds from the Income Tax Department. The fraudulent activities amounted to ₹263.95 crore.

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During the investigation, it was revealed that Rajesh Brijlal Batreja played a crucial role in assisting Mr. Adhikari. Batreja was found to have diverted proceeds of crime (PoC) amounting to ₹55.50 crore into three shell companies. These funds were subsequently converted into cash and sent outside India through hawala channels, according to an ED official.

Further investigation uncovered that Batreja invested a portion of the siphoned-off PoC in two Indian companies based in Mumbai and Gurugram, under the guise of share investment. These cross-border remittances facilitated the laundering of the fraudulent funds. Consequently, Batreja was arrested for his involvement in dealing with the proceeds of crime and was produced before the Special Court (PMLA) in Mumbai on May 17, 2024. The court granted ED custody of Batreja until May 22, 2024.

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Prior to Batreja’s arrest, the investigation had led to the seizure and attachment of immovable and movable properties worth ₹168 crores. The ED continues to investigate the extent of the fraud and the involvement of other parties in the case.

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