ED slaps PMLA case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad, family

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New Delhi | Published: July 28, 2017 7:25:09 AM

The anti-money laundering agency has also issued a notice to his MP daughter Misa Bharti for producing certain documents.

In more trouble for RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family, the ED has registered a money laundering case against them in a corruption case, officials said today, a day after his party was ousted from power in Bihar. (IE)

In more trouble for RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family, the ED has registered a money laundering case against them in a corruption case, officials said today, a day after his party was ousted from power in Bihar. The anti-money laundering agency has also issued a notice to his MP daughter Misa Bharti for producing certain documents. Officials said the Enforcement Directorate recently filed a case against Prasad and his family members involving grant of licences to two Patna businessmen for running two hotels of the railways’ PSU IRCTC in return for a prime plot of land in the Bihar capital when RJD supremo was railway minister in the UPA government. The case has been registered under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The agency, they said, has registered the offence after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR in this regard. Meanwhile, it also issued a notice to Bharti to furnish additional documents to the investigating officer (IO) of the agency who is probing her and her husband’s role in a separate Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case in which they allegedly used shell companies to turn tainted money into white. The ED had questioned Misa and husband Shailesh Kumar in this case early this month and now has widened the probe. In the first week of July, the CBI had registered a criminal FIR and conducted multiple searches against the former Bihar chief minister and others.

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In this case, too, the Enforcement Directorate will investigate the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, officials said. Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, also a former chief minister, son Tejashwi Yadav, a former deputy chief minister, and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR. Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels) who got the contract for running the two hotels, Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.

The CBI FIR alleges that Prasad, as railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, the wife of former Union minister Prem Chand Gupta. Under the PMLA, the ED has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets.

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