CBI questions Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on money laundering issue

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The CBI questioned Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain in connection with a money laundering
The CBI questioned Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain in connection with a money laundering

New Delhi : The CBI on Thursday questioned Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain in connection with a money laundering probe initiated against him for allegedly turning black money into white during 2010-12 and 2015-16 using his companies and Kolkata-based data entry operators.

Jain was questioned at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in south Delhi's Lodhi Road area. 

"Jain appeared before the investigating officer around 11 a.m following summons issued to him in connection with a money-laundering inquiry," a CBI official told IANS. 

The CBI in April launched the probe against Jain and registered a preliminary inquiry against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, who is known to be close to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The agency registered the preliminary inquiry against Jain based on the evidence it had collected against him in connection with money laundering totalling Rs 4.63 crore in 2015-16.

He is accused of being involved in the crime through Kolkata-based companies Prayas Info Pvt Ltd, Akichand Developers and Mangalyatan Project Pvt Ltd. 

Jain is also accused of purported money laundering totalling Rs 11.78 crore in 2010-12 through these companies and Delhi-based Indo-Metal Index Pvt Ltd.

It was alleged that the money was given in cash by Jain through his employees and public associates to Kolkata-based entry operators and shell companies

Thereafter, the entry operators routed the black money in the form of investment in shares of Prayas Info Pvt Ltd, Akichand Developers, Mangalyatan Project Pvt Ltd and Indo-Metal Index Pvt Ltd -- all controlled by Jain, the CBI official said.

"The shares were bought at a premium of 60 times the unit price."

Jain had technically resigned from the directorship of the companies in view of the 2013 Delhi assembly election, the official said, adding the money received back in the form of investment in shares was used by him for purchasing agriculture land worth Rs 27.69 crore in Delhi in the name of companies controlled by him.

It was also alleged that Jain used his power as minister to get the agricultural land declared as residential land by the Delhi government in order to gain huge financial benefits, the official added.

The matter was referred to the CBI by the Income Tax Department against the new Benami Transactions Prohibitions Act.

The IT Department in September 2016 summoned Jain for his alleged links with the firms which were under scanner over allegations of hawala transactions of nearly Rs 17 crore.

Jain had earlier said he made investments in these companies as an investor four years back but had withdrawn himself from those since 2013 and that he had done nothing wrong.

IT officials also found records of certain financial transactions connected to Jain after their counterparts in Kolkata searched a firm in connection with tax evasion and alleged illegal financial remittances.