Probe into former Jharkhand CM’s Mumbai links to begin | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Probe into former Jharkhand CM’s Mumbai links to begin

A two-member team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday to investigate the hawala (illegal transfer of money) transactions allegedly carried out by Balaji Group for former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, reports Manish Pachouly.

mumbai Updated: Nov 12, 2009 00:47 IST
Manish Pachouly

A two-member team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday to investigate the hawala (illegal transfer of money) transactions allegedly carried out by Balaji Group for former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.

The Balaji Group is alleged to have transferred Koda’s Rs 1,500 crore through hawala in the last two years.

One of the members of the ED team visited the investigation wing of the Income Tax (I-T) department in Mumbai to go through the documents seized during the raid at Balaji Group’s office on October 31.

Mumbai I-T officials had conducted a two-day raid on the firm following instructions by their Jharkhand counterparts.

The ED and I-T both are investigating Koda for illegally amassing wealth around Rs 4,000 crore.

An ED official in Delhi said the team will “go deep into the details of functioning” of the Balaji Group as to how and where they transferred Koda’s funds. The team will also question Balaji Group’s owner Manoj Punamiya and one of the firm directors Arvind Vyas.

The ED issued summons to Punamiya and Vyas to be present before them on November 16. “Before questioning them we have to gather details from documents seized by the I-T,” the official said.

ED officials said they will try to make Punamiya an approver in the case to help them nail Koda. “Punamiya played an important role in transferring a huge part of Koda’s money,” the official said, adding that he will also know the names of others involved in this scam.

The ED team will also go through the details of the three bank accounts, that Balaji Group handled, used to deposit and withdraw Koda’s money.

The last two years’ entries would be crucial, officials said. The ED team will also probe Koda’s Bollywood links. “His payment to the actresses and investment in Bollywood projects needs to be probed,” the official said.