Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

ED Probe: Not Satyendra Jain Only, Here Are The Other Prominent Opposition Leaders Booked In Money Laundering Cases

Following the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) arrest of Delhi minister Satyender Jain in a money laundering case, here's a look at few of the opposition leaders those have come under the scanner of the federal agency recently.

Enforcement Directorate. (File)
Enforcement Directorate. (File)

Days after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's son, Karti Chidambaram, the agency on Monday arrested Delhi minister Satyendar Jain in connection with a money laundering case. Soon after the arrest, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal broke his silence on the detention and said that the case is "completely fake and politically motivated".

From AAP's Jain to Shiv Sena's Anil Parab, quite a few opposition leaders have come under the scanner of the ED in recent times. Here's a brief look at the cases:

Karti Chidambaram, Congress 

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram has been recently booked by the ED in the Chinese visa scam, pertaining to the issuance of visas to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the home minister. According to media reports, when the ED was probing the INX Media case against the Chidambarams, it had stumbled upon evidence that Karti was offered a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to facilitate the visas of Chinese workers for a thermal project in Punjab. The bribe was offered to Karti's Chartered Accountant Bhaskaraman. However, Karti Chidambaram has denied all allegations and said "if this is not harassment, not a witch hunt, then what is."

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena 

In April, the ED attached eight land parcels in Alibaug and a flat in Mumbai's Dadar suburb linked to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and his family under the anti-money laundering law. The federal probe agency issued a provisional attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to freeze the land parcels (plots) and flats, they said. The attachment is linked to a money-laundering probe linked to a Rs 1,034 crore worth land 'scam' related to the re-development of a 'chawl' in Mumbai. The agency had also questioned Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha Raut last year in connection with another money laundering case linked to the PMC Bank fraud case and for her purported links with the wife of Pravin Raut, a Maharashtra-based businessman.

Anil Parab, Shiv Sena 

Last week, the ED raided multiple locations in Maharashtra as part of a money-laundering probe against Parab and others linked to alleged irregularities in a land deal in coastal Dapoli area of Ratnagiri district and other charges. The federal probe agency has filed a fresh case against the minister and others under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). At least seven premises, including Parab’s official residence in Mumbai, and linked premises in Dapoli and Pune are being searched by the agency with a security escort provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Farooq Abdullah, J&K National Conference

On May 27, the ED had summoned Farooq Abdullah to its Srinagar office following alleged financial misappropriation between 2004 and 2009  in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, where he was the president from 2001 to 2012. The 84-year-old three-time chief minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state had recorded his statement in the same case in 2019. The ED has attached properties worth over Rs 21 crore already. This includes Rs 11.86 crore of immovable assets of Abdullah. The case was later transferred to the CBI on the high court’s directions. On Tuesday, the federal agency questioned Abdullah for over three hours.

DK Shivakumar, Congress

Last week, the ED filed a charge sheet against Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar and his associates in a Delhi court in a 2018 case related to laundering money and suspicious transactions abroad through shell companies.  A former Karnataka minister, Shivakumar is currently out on bail in the case. This criminal case was filed based on an Income Tax department chargesheet filed against Shivakumar and others before a court in Bengaluru for alleged tax evasion and hawala dealings. The IT Department had also seized unaccounted money worth around Rs 8.59 crore from him.

Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee came under the radar of the CBI in November 2020. The ED lodged a case against him under the PMLA based on a November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Limited mines in the state's Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol. The ED had claimed that the parliamentarian was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. The MP had told reporters that the BJP government at the Centre was using the ED and the CBI for its political interests as it was unable to accept the setback in the 2021 West Bengal assembly polls.

Nawab Malik, Nationalist Congress Party 

The ED last week said it has attached multiple assets of jailed Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik under the anti-money laundering law in a case against fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his underworld gang. The federal probe agency said in a statement that it has issued a provisional order attaching properties belonging to "Mohammed Nawab Mohammed Islam Malik alias Nawab Malik, his family members, Solidus Investments Pvt. Ltd. and Malik Infrastructure under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)." The properties include Goawala compound and a commercial unit in Mumbai's suburban Kurla (West), a 147.79-acre agricultural land located in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, three flats in Kurla (West) and two residential flats in Bandra (West).

(with PTI inputs)