A day after the CBI carried out raids at over 12 locations of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, the ED on Saturday conducted raids at three different properties owned by his daughter Misa Bharti in connection with a money laundering case.
“Raids were conducted on the premises of Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar in Ghitorani, Sainik Farms and the registered office of their firm Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt. Ltd in Bijwasan area (all in Delhi),” an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official said.
The agency also seized several incriminating documents and electronic devices like mobile phones, the official said.
The searches were carried out on the basis of a criminal complaint filed on February 11, 2017 with the Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court against Jain brothers — Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain — and Jagat Project Pvt. Ltd., chartered accountant Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and others for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the provisions of the Companies Act.
On May 22, the Directorate arrested Agrawal, allegedly linked to Bharti, from Delhi, while Jain brothers were arrested on March 20.
According to ED official, Bharti, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, and her husband were directors of Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited, which is suspected to have entered into ‘benami’ deals for the purchase of a farm house in Delhi’s Bijwasan area.
In an official statement, the agency said that modus operandi of Jain brothers was to launder unaccounted money through the process of placement of funds, layering of transactions and final integration of laundering money into the banking channel camouflaged as legitimate share premium transactions.
The Enforcement Directorate said that the funds in cash were brought in by the mediators on behalf of the beneficiaries through the mediators.
“Jain Brothers were providing accommodation entries by accepting cash from their beneficiaries through mediators and converting the same into share premium transactions in the beneficiary company,” the ED statement said.
The agency also said that during the investigation against Jain brothers, Jagat Projects Ltd. and others, it found out that the 1,20,000 shares of Mishail Packers were bought during 2007-08 at 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.
“However, the 1,20,000 shares were bought back by Bharti at a price of Rs. 10 per share,” the agency said.
According to the ED official, same money was used to purchase farmhouse in Bijvasan at a low price of Rs 1.41 crore in 2008-09, whereas the actual value of the farmhouse was above Rs 50 crore.
Last month, the Income Tax Department had attached two assets of Lalu Prasad’s kin in Delhi and several properties in Bihar after the department issued a provisional order under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.
On June 21, IT officials interrogated Bharti for five hours in connection with the benami land transactions case.
Earlier, the department had attached over 12 properties of her relatives, including husband Shailesh Kumar, and brothers Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav — both ministers in the Bihar cabinet — under the benami act.
On Friday, the CBI had carried out raids at the residences of Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri and son Tejashwi Yadav — who is Bihar Deputy Chief Minister — for allegedly receiving a three-acre plot of land as a quid pro quo for leasing out two railway hotels to a private company when he (Lalu Prasad) was the Railways Minister.