ED grills Lalu’s second son-in-law in railway hotels PMLA case

New Delhi : The Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son-in-law Rahul Yadav in connection with its money laundering probe in a case related to alleged corruption in the allotment of railway hotels, official sources said.

Rahul Yadav appeared before the investigating officer (IO) of the case at about 1pm and his statement would be recorded under the anti-money law, the sources said.

Rahul Yadav is the husband of Lalu Prasad’s fourth daughter Ragini.

The Enforcement Directorate first summoned Rahul Yadav last month after it allegedly detected “movement of funds” from him to his mother-in-law, Rabri Devi.

The ED is already probing the role of Lalu Prasad’s eldest son-in-law Shailesh Kumar, who is married to Misa Bharti, in a separate money laundering case linked to the purchase of alleged tainted assets involving a firm, Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd.

This firm is said to be linked to Misa, a Rajya Sabha MP of the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), and Shailesh Kumar. A chargesheet in the case has been filed before a court here.

As part of the fresh summonses, the ED wants to seek an explanation from Rahul Yadav about the transfer of funds to the tune of about Rs 1 crore, apart from answering few other queries related to a firm embroiled in this case, Delight Marketing, sources said.

The central probe agency had earlier questioned Rabri Devi and her son Tejashwi Yadav in the case.

Tejashwi Yadav was, till recently, Bihar deputy chief minister in the government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kumar later broke ties with the RJD and formed government with the BJP.

The ED, in July last year, had registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his family members and others under various sections of the Prevention of Monwy Laundering Act (PMLA).

Before that, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a first information report and conducted multiple searches on the properties of Lalu Prasad and others.

The CBI FIR alleged that Lalu Prasad, during his tenure as railway minister in the UPA-I government, handed the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company in 2004 after a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a benami company owned by Sarla Gupta, the wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister.

The ED registered the criminal case against his family members and others under the PMLA, based on this CBI FIR.

It is investigating the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies in this deal.

Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and then Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation managing director P K Goel.

The CBI FIR was registered on July 5 last year in connection with alleged favours extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as “quid pro quo”.

Source : TOI

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