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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has booked conman Kiran Patel, who was arrested in March from a Srinagar hotel, in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), an official said on Saturday.
An ED official said that its Srinagar Zone office on Friday conducted searches at 12 locations in Ahmedabad, Morbi and Mehsana in Gujarat in connection with the probe into the matter.
The ED has also booked Patel's associates, namely Jay Savjibhai Sitapara, Hardik Kishorebhai Chandrana, Vitthalbhai Motibhai Patel, Amit Pandya and Piyush Kantibhai Vasita in the case.
"Kiran Patel, with criminal intention and by employing a high degree of forged means, impersonated himself as 'Senior Government Official' serving in PMO as 'Dr. Kiran Patel, Additional Director, PMO (Strategies & Campaigns)'. By resorting to cheating, forgery and impersonation, he has duped gullible people and also intentionally induced people to do and also to omit to do activities, under a well-knit plan for securing monetary as well as material benefits," the ED said.
The ED initiated an investigation under the PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered at a Srinagar police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The probe by the ED has also revealed that Patel was a habitual scammer and imposter as six other FIRs have also been registered against him and his family members in Gujarat for defrauding gullible people by pretending to be a "high-ranking officer" in the government and showing his political connections.
During the course of search operations, documents related to immovable properties and highly incriminating material, have been recovered and seized.