The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted raids at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) party leader Misa Bharti's residence and her husband Shailesh Kumar was brought to Delhi's Sainik farms residence for questioning in connection with an over Rs 1,000-crore benami (proxy) land deals case.
"We have conducted raids at three places including Sainik Farms and Bijwasan belonging to Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar," an ED official said.
Raids are underway at three locations in Delhi, reports ANI.The searches are connected to a money laundering probe being conducted by the agency against two brothers, Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain, and others who are alleged to have laundered several crore rupees using shell companies.
The Jain brothers were arrested by the ED under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
One of the firms that the arrested duo dealt with was M/s Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. Bharti and her husband are alleged to have been directors of this firm in the past.
The agency said it was detected that 1,20,000 shares of M/s Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited were bought during 2007-08 at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies -- M/s Shalini Holdings Limited, M/s Ad-Fin Capital Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, M/s Mani Mala Delhi Properties Pvt. Ltd., and M/s Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd. These 1,20,000 shares, it said, were bought back by Bharti at Rs 10 per share.
Earlier, the ED had arrested, Rajesh Agrawal, chartered accountant of Misa Bharti, daughter of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Agrawal was arrested from Delhi for his involvement in money laundering and the black money racket.
On June 21, Income Tax (IT) officials interrogated Bharti for five hours in connection with the case.
The ED raids come a day after the CBI conducted raids across four cities in a corruption case in which the RJD supremo Lalu Prasda Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi are among the accused. The case relates to alleged manipulation in award of contract for maintenance of two hotels run by a subsidiary of the Indian Railways--IRCTC-- when the RJD chief was railway minister in the UPA government.
(With agency inputs)