ED officials may question Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer together

  • Pratik Salunke, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 17, 2016 01:31 IST

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating NCP leader Chhagan Bhubal and others for money laundering, may interrogate him and his nephew Sameer together, a source told HT on Wednesday.

ED officials are currently interrogating Bhujbal and former Mumbai Educational Trust (MET) employee Amit Biraj, who said he has seen huge sums of cash being brought to the MET office in Bandra.

The ED source said officials are thinking about asking the court for permission to jointly interrogate Bhujbal and Sameer, who is currently in Arthur Road jail, to get a clearer picture of the alleged misappropriations. The Bhujbals are accused of corruption and laundering money through shell companies.

Biraj, the prime witness in the case, has made some shocking disclosures. He told investigators he has seen huge leather bags containing Indian currency being brought to the 9th floor of MET, where it is counted by machines before being stored in another room. He claimed that most of the currency was in the form of Rs 1,000 notes and that each leather bag contained approximately Rs 1 crore. He has also told the ED heard has Sameer telling his associates a few times about cash arriving at the MET building.

The ED source said the agency is investigating if these sums were the proceeds of crime. The ED alleges that Bhujbal accepted large sums of cash in exchange for awarding lucrative projects to contractors, and then channeled the cash into various companies controlled by him and his associates. Bhujbal has been in the custody of the ED since his arrest on Monday night. He will be produced before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Thursday.

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