The Enforcement Directorate (ED) got a major breakthrough during the questioning of Congress leader Amlendu Pandey on Thursday.
Pandey, a Congress spokesperson in Bihar, was questioned at the agency’s Nariman Point office from 11am on Thursday till 2.30am on Friday. During questioning, Pandey told the ED that Kolkata-based industrialist Kashinath Tapuriah and a former Congress member of parliament (MP), who is presently a senior government officer in Puducherry, were the important links in the passport made for Khan from Patna in 1997.
The passport was allegedly made with the help of forged documents.
Pandey admitted before the ED that he had helped Tapuriah make a passport for Khan, though he [Pandey] did not play an important role in expediting the application for the passport. In his statement to ED, Pandey put the onus of expediting Khan’s passport application on the Puducherry officer while he was Congress MP.
The ED is planning to question the Puducherry officer on this issue. Pandey also told ED that he knew Khan’s first passport issued by the Hyderabad Regional Passport Office was in the court’s custody because of some criminal cases against him [Khan] in Hyderabad and despite that helped him get another one made in Patna.
An official said Pandey also told the ED that Khan and Tapuriah had travelled to Singapore in 1997 to open an account in SBC Bank and transfer funds, and that he also travelled with them. ED had alleged that the travel to Singapore was via Kathmandu to avoid immigration checks.
However, Pandey denied that he played any role in opening the account in SBC Bank in Singapore. As per ED’s case, the passport made from Patna was used by Khan to travel to Singapore to open the account.
Pandey also claimed before ED that he did not receive any monetary benefit for helping make the passport or for travelling to Singapore with Khan and Tapuriah.