A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches at 12 premises of the RJD supremo over irregularities in awarding tenders for hotel maintenance during his tenure as the Railway Minister, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday raided three farmhouses in Delhi owned by Lalu Prasad’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti in connection to a money laundering case.
The central probe agency swooped on Bharti’s farmhouses in Ghitorni, Bijwasan and Sainik Farms early this morning.
The raids were connected in connection to a racket involving two Delhi-based businessmen Surendra and Virendra Jain and others. The Jain brothers, who were arrested by the ED under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, allegedly laundered a whopping Rs 8,000 crores using shell companies.
It could be noted that one of the firms that the arrested duo dealt with was Mishail Printers & Packers Private Limited, a company together owned by Bharti and his husband Shailesh Kumar.
According to the ED, 1,20,000 shares of Mishail Printers & Packers Private Limited were bought at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies – Shalini Holdings Limited, Ad-Fin Capital Services Private Limited, Mani Mala Delhi Properties Private Limited and Diamond Vinimay Private Limited – between 2007 and 2008. These 1,20,000 shares were further bought back by Bharti and his husband at a cost of Rs 10 per share, the agency said. The firm was registered at the address 25, Tughlaq Road, New Delhi till the shares were bought back by Bharti, the ED said.
Earlier, the ED had arrested Bharti’s chartered accountant Rakesh Agrawal in connection to the money laundering probe. Reports suggest that it was Agrawal who provided accommodation entries or black funds of about Rs 60 lakh to Mishail Printers & Packers Private Ltd.
Last month, the Income Tax Department had seized the benami properties of Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, her brother and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav in Gurugram, Delhi and Rewari.
Lalu’s family is also at the centre of another scam involving three-acre slice of premium land in Patna where “the biggest shopping mall of Bihar” is being developed by Meridian Construction Limited, a firm owned by RJD MLA Syed Abu Dojana.
According to an Indian Express report, quoting CBI records, a purported contract between Dojana and Lalu’s younger daughter Chanda shows that 57 per cent of the complex under construction on this land at Saguna More in Danapur would be owned by her while 43 per cent would be allocated to the developer.