Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti has blamed her husband Shailesh Kumar and late Sandeep Sharma, who was the company’s chartered accountant, for setting up shell firms to launder money.
The Press Trust of India reported that Bharti has denied charges of being part of any money-laundering operation.
According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Bharti and her husband had purchased a farm house in Delhi in the name of their company Mishail Packers and Printers. The ED said the purchase was made with Rs 1.2 crore that was laundered through shell companies during 2008-09. The ED, which has filed a chargesheet in the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi, charged the duo being party and active in connection with concealing, possessing, acquiring and claiming the farm house as untainted property, thus being guilty of money-laundering.
The ED is probing Bharti and her husband as part of its investigation into a Rs 8,000 crore money laundering case by shell companies and two Delhi-based entry operators Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain, called Jain brothers. The Jain brothers have been arrested by ED.
Bharti during interrogation by ED officials claimed that the day-to-day activities were taken care of by her husband and the late Sandeep Sharma, who also maintained financial records of their firm. She told the officials that Kumar and the late chartered accountant would be able to explain investments at huge premium in 2008 in Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd from four companies at a premium of Rs 90 per share.
Misa, an RJD member of the Rajya Sabha, came up with a similar response when ED officials asked her on the shares of the Mishail Packers and Printers being bought at Rs 12 per share in 2009.
While telling the officials that he supervised the day-to-day operations of the company, Kumar said the late Sandeep Sharma handled the financial affairs.
The ED has also said in the chargesheet that Bharti and Kumar actively connived and conspired with Rajesh Kumar Agarwal, an accountant accused in the case, to launder money in shell companies owned by Jain brothers and an alleged hawala operator Santosh Kumar Shah. The ED, which has also arrested Agarwal, has charged Bharti and Shailesh Kumar with failing to provide source of unaccounted money for investment in their firm Mashail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd.
The ED had conducted raids at the farmhouse and few other places linked to Misa Bharti, her husband and others in July 2017.
Meanwhile, the special CBI court granted bail to Bharti and Kumar on the condition that they will not leave the country without the prior permission of the court.
Meanwhile, Kumar told the ED he did indeed supervise the day-to-day functioning of the company, but did not oversee what he called “financial matters”. Those were handled by chartered accountant Sharma, he said.
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