The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating as to how former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda’s aide from Mumbai, Manoj Punamiya, managed to go to Dubai despite having a look out notice issued against him.
The authorities also found a bag with Punamiya containing documents regarding payments received from certain people. It is believed these details pertain to sale of properties in Dubai.
Immigration authorities caught Punamiya at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Saturday night when he arrived from Dubai. The ED wants to know from which airport in the country, Punamiya flew to Dubai. “It is not easy to fly out of the country if a look-out notice is issued. This is very serious as he might have been helped by somebody important at the airport to fly to Dubai,” the official said.
Punamiya owned Balaji Group in Zaveri Bazar allegedly transferred Koda’s Rs 1,500 crore abroad through hawala (transfer of money through an illegal channel). Koda, who is behind bars, is being investigated by the ED and Income Tax (I-T) department for illegally amassing wealth to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore.
The purpose of Punamiya’s Dubai visit is believed to be selling off Koda’s properties purchased there using the scam money. An ED official said Punamiya was questioned on Monday on how he managed to go to Dubai and who all helped him. “However, he fell on the ground and started complaining of chest pain,” the official said.
Punamiya was admitted to AIIMS hospital in Delhi. “We will question him the moment he is out,” the official said. Arvind Vyas, another of Koda’s Mumbai links, tried to fly to Dubai last month for a similar purpose. Vyas was caught at Mumbai airport before boarding the flight.