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Bikaner land scam: ED arrests two on money laundering charges

The ED is probing the alleged scam in the purchase of land in the Kolayat area of the border town in Rajasthan.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2017 20:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bikaner land scam,Enforcement directorate,Money laundering
Enforcement Directorate had earlier attached assets of government officials and others worth Rs 1.18 crore in connection with the case.

Financial crime investigating agency Enforcement Directorate has arrested two people for suspected money laundering in what is known as the Bikaner land scam, officials said on Friday.

The land scam allegedly involves the real estate firm Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd that lists Robert Vadra as one of its directors.

The two accused -- Jaiprakash Bagarwa and Ashok Kumar -- were arrested on Thursday, the agency said in a statement.

“The ED has obtained important leads while investigating the Kolayat (Bikaner) land scam case and arrested the main fraudsters...” the agency said.

Though the two arrested are not employees of Skylight, Kumar is a close aide of Mahesh Nagar, who is listed as an “authorised representative” in the website of the real estate firm, the ED said.

“Kumar was used as conduit by Mahesh Nagar, who knew the fraudulent nature of land,” the ED added.

Officials said Skylight Hospitality had purchased 69.55 hectares of land for Rs 72 lakh and then sold it to Allegeny Finlease for Rs 5.15 crore, earning profit of Rs 4.43 crore.

“During investigation it was found that Allegeny Finlease as a company is not involved in any real business activities and many of its share holders were found to be dummy or nonexistent,” the ED said

HT reached out to Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd for a comment on phone and email. The company had not responded till the time of publication.

Earlier, the ED had attached assets of government officials and others worth Rs 1.18 crore in connection with the case.

The ED is probing the alleged scam in the purchase of land in the Kolayat area of the border town in Rajasthan.

The government had cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after allotments were found to have been allegedly made in the names of “illegal private persons”.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 19:04 IST