You must know: Why ED has issued summons to popular actor Prakash Raj?

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent summons to popular actor Prakash Raj and the thespian has become the latest target of India's premier economic intelligence agency at a high time when it has been accused of acting as a lapdog of the centre-ruling BJP regime in targeting the opposition parties and the dissedents of the reign. 

Issuing the summons on Thursday - November 23 for Prakash Raj, ED has said that the summons were issued to the actor in connection with an ongoing money laundering investigation against Pranav Jewellers that's based in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. The actor has been directed to appear for an investigation before the agency in Chennai on Monday - November 27. 

The ED said that Prakash Raj has been brought under the scanner because he was the brand ambassador for Pranav Jewellers. The company has amassed Rs 100 crore from the public through what is termed as a Ponzi scheme, which issues a fake promise of amassing wealth quickly by asking the people to invest their money with the promise of high returns. 

The summons to Prakash Raj were issued days after conducting raids on the premises of Pranav Jewellers last Monday. In a statement released on Wednesday, the ED said, "Investigation revealed that Pranav Jewellers and other connected persons cheated the public by diverting public funds to shell entities/ entry providers under garb of the purchase of bullion/gold ornaments." 

The agency further said, "Searches also revealed that the supplier parties in the books of Pranav Jewellers were entry providers, who during the investigation confessed to have provided adjustment or accommodation entries to Pranav Jewellers for amounts over Rs 100 crore, and also confessed to have given cash to the accused persons in lieu of bank payments." 

The Indian Express has quoted the sources saying, "The ED decided to record his statement to ascertain some purported payments made by the company to him and some other financial transactions." A spokesperson of ED said that during the searches in the jewellery firm that held last Monday - November 20, various incriminating documents, unexplained cash of Rs 23.70 lakh, bullion/gold jewellery weighing 11.60 kg have been seized. 

It has been reported that the ED has plunged into the probe after an FIR was filed by the Economic Offences Wing in Trichy against Pranav Jewellers over its Ponzi scheme. While the ED had issued lookout notices against the owner of Pranav Jewellers and his wife earlier this month, the central agency has now issued a summon to actor and staunch Modi dissenter Prakash Raj.