ED grills Cong leader for links with Hasan Ali
Congress leader Amlendu Pandey became the first politician to be questioned on his links with Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, who is being probed for money laundering.mumbai Updated: Apr 15, 2011 01:47 IST
Congress leader Amlendu Pandey became the first politician to be questioned on his links with Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, who is being probed for money laundering.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Thursday, questioned Pandey at length at the agency’s Nariman Point office. Pandey, accompanied by a party worker, came at 11am and was questioned till late at night. The questioning was videotaped as per Supreme Court directions.
Pandey, a Congress spokesperson in Bihar, is looked upon as an important link as he had helped Khan get a passport from Patna in 1997 allegedly with forged documents. Pandey, who was then officer on special duty (OSD) to the foreign minister, had written on his letterhead to the regional passport office in Patna to expedite Khan’s passport application.
Using this passport, Khan along with his associate Kashinath Tapuriah and Pandey travelled to Singapore to open an account in SBC Bank. In a document, notarised by Nicholas Ronald Rathbone Smith, Notary Public of London, Khan stated that in 1997 Tapuriah had recommended that he move from UBS Bank to SBC Bank. SBC was later merged with UBS, the statement said.
In the statement, Khan said at the time [in 1997] he had travelled on an interim passport issued by the Government of India.
The ED grilled Pandey on his association with Khan and Tapuriah. A senior ED official said Pandey was asked how he knew Khan and Tapuriah. “He was questioned about who introduced him to the two,” the official said.
Pandey was also questioned on his help to Khan in making a passport from Patna and also on his travel to Singapore along with Khan and Tapuriah.
The ED had, last month, raided Pandey’s residence in Delhi and recovered four diaries, one of them mentioning Khan’s details, papers with code words, documents pertaining to an account in UBS Bank in Switzerland and three Global Positioning System sets.
The ED then issued a summons to Pandey. Meanwhile, ED will make details of Pandey’s and builder Yusuf Lakdawala’s questioning on Wednesday as part of the probe report to be submitted in the Supreme Court on Friday.