After Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, his wife Rheema has been giving Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials a tough time, officials have said. Despite committing via fax to the ED, that she would appear before it for questioning on Friday, Rheema failed to do so.
The ED had summoned Rheema on Monday (March 28), but she had faxed a letter saying she wanted to attend the Supreme Court hearing that day (when the ED submitted the status report on its probe) and on Tuesday and would report to the agency on Friday.
ED sources said on Friday that she sent another fax saying she needed more time. “This time she did not mention any date,” an ED official said, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The ED wanted to question Rheema as the Supreme Court granted them Khan’s custody, but could not do so, as she avoided meeting the officials. The ED wanted to question Rheema along with Khan.
“We had earlier looked for her at her Peddar Road and Pune residences, but she was not there,” the officer said. ED officials had also questioned one of Khan’s bodyguards, but he too did not give any information about her whereabouts. “We will continue to look for her, as it is very important for us to question her,” the official said.
The ED had recorded Rheema’s statement once when Khan was arrested earlier last month. He was then released on bail by a special court in Mumbai. The ED wants to question Rheema again.
ED officials believe Rheema is avoiding the agency fearing she will be arrested.
The ED wants to question Rheema on an account opened in her name in a Switzerland bank, which was closed immediately.
Officials also want to quiz her about Khan’s links with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. “We have information that she was in the loop on Khan’s dealings with Khashoggi,” the officer said.
Khan himself is not cooperating with the agency and avoiding answering questions on the black money parked abroad and his links with Khashoggi. Meanwhile, the ED on Friday continued to video-record the interrogation of Khan and his aide Kashinath Tapuriah.