New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday froze Rs 62 crore worth shares of Balasore Alloys owned by businessman Pramod Mittal, ex-chairman of Global Steel Holdings Ltd, for defrauding and causing a loss of Rs 2,000 crore to the government-run State Trading Corporation.

“ED has frozen over 87 lakh shares of Balasore Alloys Ltd with market value of Rs. 62 crore as on May 3, held by Mittal, Global Steel Holding Limited (GSHL) and associated companies,” an Enforcement Directorate statement said.

The action was taken under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) “in case of defrauding the STC”, it said.

The statement said Mittal and GSHL had claimed that they owned only 39,730 shares in Balasore Alloys Ltd.

“But during the search of Balasore Alloys, it was found that Mittal and Global Steel Holdings through its subsidiary or associate companies were indirectly holding 87,47,285 shares of Balasore having face value Rs 4.37 crore and market value of Rs 62.1 crore,” the agency said.

The probe agency took up the case of money laundering against Mittal on the basis of a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI on March 16 this year registered a case against Mittal alleging “criminal breach of trust” as he failed to make payments as per terms and conditions of the agreement with STC.

According to the complaint from the STC, GSHL sought financing facility from it for purchase of raw material for their Philippines-based steel plants on cash and carry basis.

The raw material was supplied despite payments not being made as per the agreement, whereby goods had to be lifted only upon payments to the STC, amounting to a default amount of over Rs 2,000 crore.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.