Punjab Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Thursday submitted a complaint against revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia to the enforcement directorate (ED) here, alleging that the latter received hawala money to the tune of Rs. 70 lakh from money launderer Gurmeet Manchanda.
Manchanda, an accomplice of druglord Jagdish Singh Bhola, is presently lodged along with him in the high-security Nabha jail.
Submitting the complaint to ED joint director Dr Girish Bali, Khaira requested the directorate to investigate the matter under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). He also submitted copies of call records, intercepted by the Punjab Police during the initial investigation, of Rohit Goyal alias Pinky who, Khaira claimed, used to work as a courier for delivering Manchanda’s hawala money and is yet to be arrested.
Addressing a press conference after submitting the complaint, Khaira claimed that as per details provided to him by a senior officer working in the financial investigation unit (FIU) of the Punjab Police, Majithia had received Rs. 70 lakh from Pinky at Chandigarh on April 18, 2011.
“I apprehend that this is hawala money or money used in the drug trade. This must be investigated by the ED,” said Khaira.
The Congress spokesman claimed that the police, after the intervention of senior functionaries of the state government, left the investigation midway after Majithia’s name cropped up.
“The FIU should have arrested Pinky and investigated the matter. However, they neither conducted investigations nor informed the ED,” he added.
Khaira alleged that Manchanda was a conduit to launder Bhola’s drug money of Rs. 6,000 crore across the world, particularly Canada.
He claimed that that receipt of Rs. 70 lakh by Majithia from a money launderer brought to the fore grave violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which needed to be investigated to unearth a larger money laundering nexus.