Bhola drug racket: CPS Avinash Chander grilled by ED for 11 hrs

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2016 10:32 IST
CPS Avinash Chander (Pardeep Pandit/HT Photo)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday grilled chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Phillaur Avinash Chander in connection to the multi-crore Bhola drug racket case for more than 11 hours.

Avinash, who was summoned by the ED with entire records of his local and overseas business deals in the past 10 years, entered the central agency’s Punjab zone headquarters here at 11.10 am and came out after 10 pm.

The chief parliamentary secretary was interrogated by assistant director and investigating officer (IO) of Bhola drug racket case, Niranjan Singh. Sources said the CPS was asked to give more than 100-page statements in writing under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Sources said the agency primarily investigated Chandar’s alleged relationship with Gorya-based businessman Chunni Lal Gaba, an accused in the case whose properties worth more than Rs 80 crore have already been attached by the ED.

The IO focused on the diary recovered by the income tax department from Gaba in which few “prominent entries” have been found on the SAD MLA’s name.

The diary which has “overwriting and cuttings” on few pages having Avinash’s name was taken by ED from the I-T deparment through court and was thereafter sent for forensic lab to find out the actual names.

Sources said though it was too early to find out CPS’ links with the Bhola drug case but few of his alleged “shady deals” can land him in trouble.

Sources said the chief parliamentary secretary remained uneasy throughout the investigation and kept on asking for breaks citing his “poor health”.

Infor mation procured by Hindustan Times revealed that Avinash was also questioend over his alleged links with few of his associated who are already in the ED net in different cases of money laundering.

The agency , just a day after the first summoning of the CPS on October 13, 2015, had raided a shop of his key aide and foreign money exchanger Chatinder Goyal “Seeta Arhtiya” in the Phillaur grain market and procured some hawala transaction documents.

Goyal, a member of the market committee of Phillaur from the Akali quota and president of the town’s arhtiya (commission agent) association, was known as a fundraiser of the chief parliamentary secretary.

“I’ve come with entire record. I will fully cooperate in the investigation as I have nothing to hide,” Avinash told mediapersons while entering the enforcement directorate’s office in the morning.

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