New Delhi, Apr 12: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against a close associate of Union Minister Gen. (retd) VK Singh over alleged financial irregularities in the supply of defense items.
The criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shambhu Prasad Singh and others has been registered by the agency on the basis of a 2014 CBI FIR, sources said.
The case pertains to alleged corruption by unknown officials of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and private firms in connection with the supply of high-altitude tents to a covert unit of the intelligence agency.
A firm owned by Shambhu Prasad and his family members is alleged to have taken illegal bank loans to qualify for the bid for supply of tents or pre-fabricated dwellings for troops in high-altitude areas.
Sources said that Shambhu Prasad has for long been associated with former army chief Singh, who is now the Minister of State for External Affairs. [Media running "insidious campaign" against me at behest of arms lobby: VK Singh]
"The case has been registered against Shambhu Prasad and a few others who were earlier booked by CBI. The accused will soon be issued notices," sources said.
They said that ED has identified some movable and immovable assets of the accused and these could be attached under PMLA laws after investigations and recording of statements.
Earlier, CBI had registered a case against Sai Baba Builders and Consultants and its three directors -- Shyam Sunder Bhatter, JPN Singh and Manjari, Shambhu Prasad's wife. The CBI case was registered last year under IPC sections related to cheating and forgery and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"It has been alleged that wrongful favour was shown by the officials of the SFF (Special Frontier Force) and Cabinet Secretariat in the matter of the preparation of the tender, procurement, supply and installation of the pre-fabricated shelters for SFF troops during the period 2009-13 which were purchased from the company," CBI said.
They said that the case has to do with alleged corruption in the supply of high-altitude tents worth Rs 22 crore to SFF, a covert unit operating under external intelligence agency RAW, during 2009-13.
The CBI action came after the agency received a reference from the Prime Minister's Office which wanted a probe in the matter.
RAW had carried out an internal probe in which prima facie irregularities were found. The report was sent to the PMO which referred it to CBI for further probe.
SFF was set up after the 1962 Indo-China war to carry out specialised operations for RAW. [V K Singh apologises to media with a caveat]