ED questions Delhi Minister Jain in money laundering case

New Delhi, April 11 :  The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday questioned Delhi Health and Power Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with its probe into a money laundering case.

The agency had questioned Jain, an Aam Aadmi Party leader, on April 3 also for over five hours and recorded his statement in the alleged ‘proceeds of crime’ case.

The ED booked Jain and five others in the case last August after taking cognisance of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR against the AAP leader.

The CBI, in April last year, registered a Preliminary Enquiry against Jain on the basis of what it termed evidence it had collected in connection with the laundering of Rs 46.3 million in 2015-16.

Jain is accused of involvement in the crime through Kolkata-based Prayas Info Pvt Ltd, Akichand Developers and Mangalyatan Project Pvt Ltd. Jain and his wife were allegedly holding one third shares in these companies during the period.

Jain is also accused of laundering Rs 117.8 million in 2010-12 through these companies and Delhi-based Indo-Metal Index Pvt Ltd.

The Delhi Minister was accused of giving the money in cash through his employees and public associates to Kolkata-based entry operators and shell companies. Thereafter, the entry operators routed the black money in the form of investment in shares of Prayas Info Pvt Ltd, Akichand Developers, Mangalyatan Project Pvt Ltd, and Indo-Metal Index Pvt Ltd — all allegedly controlled by Jain.

“The shares were bought at a premium of 60 times the unit price,” the CBI had said.

Jain had technically resigned from the directorship of the companies in view of the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections, the CBI official had said, adding that the money received back in the form of investment in shares was used by him for purchasing agricultural land valued at Rs 276.9 million in Delhi in the name of companies controlled by him.

Jain was accused of misusing his powers as Minister to get the agricultural land declared as residential land by the Delhi government to gain huge financial benefits.

The matter was referred to the CBI by the Income Tax Department under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act.

The I-T Department in September 2016 summoned Jain for questioning on his alleged links with the firms under the scanner over hawala transactions of nearly Rs 170 million.

Jain had earlier said he made investments in these companies as an investor four years back but had withdrawn since 2013 and that he had done nothing wrong.