In a big setback to RJD, Enforcement Directorate arrested chartered accountant allegedly linked to former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti in Rs 8,000 crore PMLA cases.
The CA, Rajesh Agarwal, has been arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will be produced in court today, officials said.
Agarwal was allegedly instrumental in providing accommodation entries to many high-profile people to help launder their funds. These included those being probed by the Income Tax Department in the Rs 1,000 crore dubious land deals case allegedly linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s family, they said.
The CA, officials said, was also allegedly involved in routing funds for the Jain brothers, Virendra and Surendra, arrested by the ED in a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering racket allegedly being run through shell firms.
Agarwal would be questioned in detail about all such deals and people linked to him once the agency gets his custody, an official said.
The ED had last week filed a chargesheet against the Jain brothers. It had also attached agricultural land worth Rs 1.12 crore belonging to them in Bhatti village in the National Capital Region.
The Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys across 22 locations in Delhi and nearby areas to investigate further in the case, involving ‘undisclosed’ land deals worth Rs 1,00 crore, linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and others.
As per information, I-T sleuths raided several businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurgaon, Rewari and few others on Tuesday morning.
The searches are also being conducted at the premises of the son of RJD MP P C Gupta and few other businessmen.
In addition, raids are also being conducted at a dozen other locations apart from surveys at 10 other official premises.
“People and businessmen connected to the land deal involving Lalu Prasad and his family are being searched. There are allegations of ‘benami’ deals worth about Rs 1,000 crore and subsequent tax evasion,” a senior official said.
It has come to light that a team of about 100 tax department officials and police personnel are conducting the raids.
After a TIMES NOW investigation, Lalu’s MP-daughter Misa Bharti and two sons – both Bihar government ministers – have been accused of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of “quid pro quo” as they date back to the period when Lalu Prasad was the railway minister, and dared Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against him.
Lalu’s RJD is a constituent of Bihar’s ruling coalition led by Kumar.His sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are ministers in the government.
His official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.
Several suspect land deals took place in Bihar, he said, wondering if Kumar would invoke a special law enacted by his government in which assets acquired through illicit money are confiscated in this instance.
“The politics of Lalu Prasad has become politics of loot. Land worth crores of rupees was grabbed for a pittance,” he had said.
One such land deal involving Lalu Prasad and his family members is in Bijwasan in Delhi, he said. “We expect the central government to take appropriate action,” Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.
All the companies owned by Lalu Prasad’s family members for the purpose of these land transactions had no employees, no business activities and no turnover, Ravi Shankar Prasad had claimed.
Bihar’s biggest shopping mall spread over 7.5 lakh square feet is coming up in Patna as part of such dubious transactions, he had alleged at a news conference held here.