Puducherry Lt Gov Iqbal Singh facing ED music; probe on

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Iqbal Singh
Puducherry, Apr 21: Among the many scams dogging the country, the Hasan Ali case rules the roost in relation to its reach and depth. While the latest victim in the case is the Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh who was under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate (ED) for issuing a passport to Hasan Ali.

With the ED snooping on Iqbal Singh over his alleged role in the Hasan Ali case, the ED officials arrived at Raj Niwas in Puducherry to question Singh. The team of officials will record the questioning and will videograph the proceedings. This is being carried out under the directive of the Supreme Court.

An ED official has been quoted as saying, “As per the apex court directions, we sent a team to apprise the Raj Niwas authorities about our preliminary requirements before recording the statements. A team of senior officials will be sent shortly to record Iqbal Singh"s statement." The ED has alleged that Singh was instrumental in helping Hasan Ali in his massive money laundering activities as well as attaining a passport from Patna in 1997.

There are also widespread accusations that he abused his authority as Congress MP when he wrote to the then Minister of External Affairs, IK Gujral following which Hasan Ali was issued the passport in a gap of one week.

Singh is also facing the music for helping Hasan aides Kashinath Tapuriah and his wife Chandrika Tapuriah clear their passport applications from Kolkata"s regional passport office in 1997. These unfairly attained passports were alleged to have used by Ali and Tapuriah to travel to Nepal with the help of a Bihar Congress leader, Amalendu Pandey.

A case of tax evasion is also being charged against Ali when the duo traveled to Singapore to open bank accounts. The ED officials plans to pursue the matter and send letter rogatory to Singapore and Switzerland after questioning Singh.

The investigative agencies are yet to ascertain details about Ali's foreign bank accounts. Meanwhile, probe is on if Hasan Ali has links with terror outfits and the ED is believed to have sent information on this regard to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The ED has claimed that Ali has links with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

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