Chhagan Bhujbal and Jagan Reddy in ED's list of launderers
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has released its list of top money launderers and shell companies they used to transact unaccounted money. Politicians in the list include YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and jailed NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal. Surat's Afroz Mohammed and Madanlal Jain top the list and an IAS officer Babulal Agarwal is also named. What else did the list reveal? Read on!
What are the money laundering allegations against Jagan Reddy?
During his father YS Reddy's tenure as Andhra CM, Jagan Mohan was allegedly paid bribe through investments and exorbitant premiums worth Rs. 1000cr in his various companies. The ED list accuses him of laundering about Rs. 368cr through 31 shell companies linked to him and his associates. Incidentally, ED has attached assets worth Rs. 148cr. Jagan's name also figured in the Paradise papers leak.
Bogus deals and unlawful funds make up Chhagan's empire
Maharashtra's former deputy CM Bhujbal is being investigated for allegedly laundering Rs. 200cr through 81 shell companies. Bhujbal is in jail since March 2016 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He was investigated for alleged corruption in awarding contracts for Maharashtra Sadan's construction in New Delhi and other projects as PWD minister. Money was laundered through hawala operators and pumped into shell companies.
Which are the other entities on the list?
The list includes NKS Holdings Pvt Ltd for allegedly laundering Rs. 3790cr using 95 shell companies. NKS accepted black money from clients and converted it into share premium, which is paying more money than the share's value, through shell companies, making it appear like a legitimate business transaction. Mumbai's Rajeshwar Exports had the highest number of shell companies (312), which laundered Rs. 1500cr.
What is the current situation?
ED has provisionally attached properties worth Rs. 3587cr and arrested 19 persons. Money laundering was most prevalent in Jaipur, Jalandhar, Raipur, Hyderabad, Chennai and Panaji. ED has tracked about 1,000 shell companies used for such activities; some of them are also linked to terror funding.