Land-for-Job scam: ED discovers assets worth ₹600 cr
The enforcement directorate (ED) claimed on Saturday they had so far discovered proceeds of crime worth ₹600 crore in the land-for-job scam which accused RJD President Lalu Prasad of amassing wealth on behalf of his family members and associates during he offered Group D appointments during his tenure as Minister of Railways in the UPA regime.
Of the £600m, £350m of property and £250m of transactions channeled through various benamidaars were also identified, the ED said in an official statement.
The probe performed under the prevention of money laundering Act (PMLA) has revealed that “the current market value of these properties is in excess of £200m”, ED charged. In this regard, several Benamidaars, Shell entities and beneficial owners for these lands have been identified, the agency said.
Also Read: CBI Questioning Lalu in Land-for-Job Scam
The ED shared details of the Lalu family properties which are under a cloud, stating that D-1088, a self-contained 4-storey bungalow in Delhi’s posh New Friends Colony, is owned by his son and the company of the Deputy Prime Minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav – M/s AB Exports Private Limited. The bungalow was revealed to have been purchased for just 4 lakh, but its current market value is around £150million, the agency claimed. “It is suspected that a huge amount of cash/criminal proceeds flowed into the purchase of this property and some Mumbai-based companies involved in the gems and jewelry sector were used to funnel ill-gotten funds into the agency charged.
The ED pointed out that while the property of the New Friends Colony was on paper the office of M/s AB Exports Private Limited and M/s AK Infosystems Pvt Ltd. was declared, however, it is used exclusively as a residence by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. During the searches on Friday it was found that he was staying in this house. He was also questioned by the sniffer dogs in the case to establish details of questionable assets on his behalf.
Also Read: Delhi Excise Policy Fraud: ED Grills BRS Leader K Kavitha for Hours
The ED had also conducted searches at 23 other locations in Delhi NCR, Patna, Mumbai and Ranchi based on the specific intelligence information to gather further evidence of the scam. “Searches resulted in the recovery of £1bn of unrecorded cash, foreign currency including $1,900, 540g of gold bullion and over 1.5kg of gold jewelery (worth approximately £1.25bn),” it explained the ed. In addition, electronic equipment and several other incriminating documents, including various property documents, and deeds of sale on behalf of family members and Benamidaars were also seized, indicating the illegal accumulation of a vast land bank. Among the locations searched were also Lalu’s three daughters and Syed Abu Dojana, a former RJD MLA.
The ED said its investigation found 4 parcels of land, which Lalu’s family had acquired for just 7.5 lakhs from poor Group D applicants, from former Bihar CM Rabri Devi at a huge profit of £3.5million were sold to RJD leader Syed Abu Dojana in a collusive deal. Much of the amount received, the ED claimed, was transferred to Tejashwi’s account.
In this way, ED claims, land was taken from several poor parents and candidates to replace Group D jobs on the railroad. During the investigation, it was found that in many railroad zones, more than 50 percent of recruited candidates came from Lalu family constituencies. The ED continues the investigation to uncover other investments made on behalf of Lalu’s family and associates in various sectors, including real estate, in various locations.
https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/land-for-job-scam-ed-detects-600-cr-worth-assets/article66607417.ece Land-for-Job scam: ED discovers assets worth ₹600 cr