IB roped in to probe Hasan Ali
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has involved the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to probe details of money stashed in foreign banks by Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan.mumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2011 02:00 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has involved the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to probe details of money stashed in foreign banks by Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan.
Khan, who is in ED custody, is accused of acquiring and holding $8 billion (Rs36,000 crore) in a Swiss bank. Sources in the ED said a team of four IB officials arrived from Delhi on Tuesday and rigorously questioned Khan. The questioning, done jointly with ED officials, continued on Wednesday.
Khan was questioned to ascertain who owned the money that was found stashed in his Swiss bank account. He was asked to mention details of account transaction and the manner in which such a huge amount was transferred in his account.
IB grilled Khan on his hawala (illegal route of transferring money) network. “He was also questioned on his political connections,” a senior ED official said on condition of anonymity. He added that IB officials also interrogated Khan about his contacts — hawala operators and others — who helped him in transferring money abroad.
Sources said IB was involved in this matter to help the ED extract crucial information so that the ED can strengthen the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against Khan.
The ED has so far failed to make a strong case against Khan under the PMLA. A special court in Mumbai had granted bail to Khan, which was cancelled by the Supreme Court.
Following this, his custody was handed over to the ED. “We are seeking IB’s help in finding out crucial details on Khan’s account abroad and his political and hawala links,” the officer said.
A Bandra-based architect is also under ED’s scanner. The agency officials interrogated him on Wednesday.
The architect had on Khan’s instructions helped his (Khan’s) aide in purchasing jewellery worth Rs1.74 crore in 2006. The architect, who knew the Bandra jeweller well, had stood guarantor for Khan’s aide as the payment was to be made at a later stage.
“As per our information, Khan had to arrange the payment from his Swiss bank account and had asked the architect to stand as a guarantor till it was done,” the officer said.