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ED interrogates Hasan Ali

Enforcement Directorate has taken real-estate businessman and stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, who is accused of stashing black money abroad, for interrogation after conducting a raid at his residence in Pune today. Debobrat Ghose reports. Timeline

india Updated: Mar 08, 2011 00:50 IST
Debobrat Ghose

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken real-estate businessman and stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, who is accused of stashing black money abroad, for interrogation after conducting a raid at his residence in Pune on Monday morning.

Though rumours are abuzz of Hasan Ali's arrest, the latter's lawyer claimed on a television channel that "he has been taken for questioning by the ED".

"He has not yet been arrested, but ED has taken him for interrogation," a highly placed source said.

Three days after issuing a 'Look Out' corner notice by the ED, its officials today raided 14 locations across the country, including the residence of real-estate businessman and stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan in Pune.

Two teams of ED officials from Mumbai raided Hasan Ali's residence in the morning at Koregaon Park.

"The directorate officials have simultaneously conducted raids at all the 14 locations including Pune and Kolkata related to Hasan Ali," the source added.

Hasan Ali is alleged to have stashed away over $8 billion in an account in a bank in Zurich.

On March 3, the Supreme Court had pulled up the government for failing to question Hasan Ali and not cracking whip on black money hoarders. The apex court also ordered reinstatement of three ED officials, who were allegedly transferred midway of the probe. Earlier the court had asked the government to ensure that Khan doesn't leave the country, after his black money related case came to light.

On March 5, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on the sidelines of a CII event said the government has taken note of the Supreme Court observations and appropriate action would be taken against Hasan Ali.

There are allegations against Hasan Ali of money laundering, hawala operations, transferring cash and valuable assets outside the country by unlawful means with the help of foreign nationals, forgery and connections with arms and terror networks abroad.

According to sources, Hasan Ali, who originally hails from Hyderabad is allegedly connected to the Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who in turn has terror networks.

The income tax (I-T) department, Mumbai had issued a show-cause notice to Khan in 2008 over alleged huge tax evasion following undisclosed funds in foreign banks, including in Zurich.

Prior to this, the I-T officials had raided Khan's residence in Pune in 2007 and seized important documents, which revealed Khan of having evaded tax and kept money in tax havens.

This is one of the biggest tax evasion cases in India.

Apart from ED and I-T department, the Maharashtra state economic offences wing (EOW) has been probing into the case.