Mallya to find shelter in Arthur Road Jail, govt. confirms UK

Extradition processes are supposedly doing the last rounds, and if loan defaulter and fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, finally touches down Indian soil his address will be a high-security cell in Barrack 12, as per government conveyance to the U.K. Crown Prosecution Services, as reported by The Hindu.

The Indian government was sent a long list of a questionnaire, pertaining to Mallya’s prison conditions if India’s extradition request is granted. Some of the specimen questions were, whether Mallya would be granted a minimum three sq.m. of personal space. Other questions pertained to the cleanliness of his mattress and adequacy of drinking water supply.

The CPS authorities had taken too seriously the descriptions of Arthur Jail in Gregory David Roberts’ novel ‘Shantaram’, and the Indian government had to put in efforts to establish that the novel is a work of fiction, and Mallya would be held in a “unique” part of Arthur Jail.

The CBI along with ED officials had to undertake several journeys to London, to satisfy the queries of CPS prosecutors as prison conditions remains a top priority in extradition proceedings not only in U.K. but throughout E.U.

The status report hails the “excellent cooperation from Indian authorities” and believes that India had “sufficient material to establish a prima facie case.”

Sources: The Hindu and One India 

Enforcement Directorate raids Misa Bharti in Benami transaction case

On the basis of Income Tax department ‘benami’ transaction case involving family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Enforcement Directorate raided three properties owned by his daughter, Misa Bharti under the same case, as reported by ANI.

On Friday i.e. yesterday, the CBI had raided 12 places including RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s residence. Other properties involving his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav were also raided after allegations of leasing two railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri to a private company in 2006, when he was the Railway Minister, in return for a three-acre plot of land. Lalu’s son-in-law, Shailesh Kumar’s properties were also attached under the Benami Transaction Act, 1988.

On May 22, the ED had arrested Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, a Chartered Accountant allegedly linked to Bharti. After one month, the Income Tax officials interrogated Bharti for five hours in connection with the same benami (or proxy) transaction worth Rs 1000 crore.

The Indian Express reported that Lalu has blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for setting score against him through these raids. Meanwhile, BJP leader, Sushil Kumar Modi has asked Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar to take action and remove Tejashwi Yadav as Deputy CM from the cabinet.

Sources: Indian Express, Economic Times

Saradha scam accused Manoranjana Sinh receives bail from Supreme Court

Former journalist Manoranjana Sinh, accused under the Saradha chit-fund scam finally got bail from the Supreme Court on Monday more than a year after her arrest. She had been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in October 2015 on alleged links with the multi-crore Saradha scam.

The SC bench comprising justices Arunabh Mishra and Amitava Roy allowed bail for the journalist on some conditions. Sinh is the estranged wife of former union minister Matang Sinh, who is also facing trial in connection with the money laundering probe in the chit-fund scam before the special court in Kolkata.

Sinh, who was the managing director of NE TV, was accused of misappropriation of funds, cheating, criminal conspiracy and taking money from Sudipta Sen, chairman of the Saradha group.

Sen, in his ‘tell-all’ letter to CBI, described in detail Sinh’s involvement in the scam and alleged that she helped him ‘settle’ the deal with Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former finance minister P.Chidambaram.

The scam was caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Saradha Group, who collected around Rs.200-300 billion from over 1.7 million depositors before it got exposed in April 2013.

A multi-agency probe was launched through the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) by the central government to investigate the scam and similar schemes. The entire investigation was transferred to the CBI in May 2014 on SC’s orders.


News Source- Times Of India, Outlook India

Image Source-  Indian Express

Rs 93 lakh in 2000 notes confiscated in Karnataka; 7 arrested

The crackdown on black money continues, and this time the Enforcement Directorate has tracked down Rs 93 lakh in new currency notes in Karnataka, arresting seven alleged middlemen.

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) comes in handy in putting behind bars the accused, one of whom in this case happens to be a government official.

In this case, the ED officials garbed them as ‘customers’ who look to exchange old currency illegally, after paying the agent his due commission. This is the most prominent modus operandi among the law keepers, as this honey trap becomes impossible for the agents to reject.

This new seizure is another addition to a chain of other confiscations, throughout the country by other law enforcement bodies. This shows a clear nexus of middlemen with senior bank employees. According to a report by Indian Express, these middlemen offer the bank employees 15 to 35 percent commission depending on the amount to be exchanged.

Around Rs 250 crore has been confiscated till date in new notes from agents by carrying out multiple raids across the country. The Home Ministry is aware of this evil, and is keeping close tabs on all nationalized as well as private banks.


Image Source : ANI

ED attaches Rs 6,630 crore assets to Mallaya

In the latest twist to the ongoing saga of money laundering and bad debts against businessman, Vijay Mallaya and his associates, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized his farmhouse, flats and FDs – worth Rs 6,630 crore on Saturday. This step was taken against the fresh case registered by CBI last month; in addition to the loan default of Rs 6,027 crore filed by SBI led consortium of nationalised banks. So far, the agency has attached assets over Rs 8,000 crore.

Multiple properties and assets including a farm house in Alibaugh worth Rs 25 crore, several flats in the Kingfisher tower in Bengaluru valued at Rs 565 crore, Rs 10 crore worth of fixed deposits at HDFC and shares of USL, United Breweries Limited and McDowell Holding company, jointly held by Mallaya and UBHL and his controlled entities, worth Rs 3,635 crore have been impounded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Legally, a provisional attachment under PMLA restrains the accused from accessing the money or assets begotten through illegal means and it can be challenged within 180 days before PMLA’s Adjudicating Authority.

Sources: TOIThe Hindu