ED grills Lalu’s son-in-law in money laundering case

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New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son-in-law Shailesh Kumar in connection with its probe into over Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case against him and his wife Misa Bharti.

Shailesh Kumar reached the ED headquarters at Khan Market in central Delhi around 10 a.m., following the agency’s summons on Tuesday, and was questioned for around eight hours.

Sources in the ED said that he faced questions mostly similar to what his wife was asked on Tuesday during her nine-hour quizzing.

Shailesh Kumar is likely to appear before the ED investigators again on Thursday for further questioning, the sources said.

The ED had earlier on Monday issued summons against Kumar but he skipped it at the time.

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The ED officials had on Tuesday questioned Kumar’s wife and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti for over nine hours in the case to find out about her role in relation to the Mishail Printers and Packers Private Ltd, her other finances and her links with arrested Chartered Accountant Rajesh Kumar Agarwal.

Misa Bharti’s questioning was related to the Rs 8,000 crore money laundering probe being conducted by the ED against Delhi-based businessmen brothers — Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain, and others who were alleged to have laundered several thousand crore rupees, using over 90 shell companies.

The firms of Jain brothers, who were arrested by the ED in March on charges of money laundering, dealt with Mishail Printers and Packers Pvt. Ltd., of which Misa Bharti and her husband are alleged to be directors.

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The ED said that during investigation it was found that 1,20,000 shares of Mishail Printers and Packers Pvt Ltd were bought during 2007-08 at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies — Shalini Holdings Ltd, Ad-Fin Capital Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, Mani Mala Delhi Properties Pvt. Ltd., and Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd.

These shares were then allegedly bought back by Misa Bharti at Rs 10 per share.

According to the ED official, same money was used to purchase a farmhouse in Bijwasan at a low price of Rs 1.41 crore in 2008-09, whereas its actual value was above Rs 50 crore.

The agency’s action comes in the wake of the raids it carried out on Saturday at three premises of Misa Bharti, her husband and Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt. Ltd. in connection with the alleged money laundering.

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The ED had raided Misa Bharti’s premises a day after the CBI raided multiple premises of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo, his wife Rabri Devi and two sons — Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav — who are Ministers in the Bihar government.

They were alleged to have received a three-acre plot of land as a quid pro quo for the railways leasing out two of its hotels to a private company when Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister in the UPA government.

In June, the Income Tax Department had attached over 12 properties of her relatives, including her husband, and brothers under the Benami Act.



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