ED summons Gehlot’s brother
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued summons to Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s brother Agrasain Gehlot to appear at its headquarters in Delhi on Wednesday in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in the export of fertilizers meant for Indian farmers, officials familiar with the development said on Tuesday.
According to an official who asked not to be named, the agency is required to question Agrasain Gehlot since he, through his company, played a key role in the alleged violations. The official did not give details of what the allegations were about.
ED’s probe is based on an investigation carried out by the customs department and the Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence (DRI) in 2009 in the export of Muriate of Potash or MOP, which is a restricted commodity for export under the foreign trade policy.
According to the probe, it is suspected that Gehlot’s company diverted about 35,000 metric tonnes of MOP valued at Rs 130 crore in international market.
The anti-money laundering probe agency had, on July 22, conducted raids at his premises apart from several companies and individuals in Rajasthan, Delhi and West Bengal.
A Customs’ department investigation report, reviewed by HT, alleges that Agrasain Gehlot’s company – M/s Anupam Krishi –played a key role in the export of MOP to companies in Malaysia and Singapore.
It added that Agrasain Gehlot “knowingly opted to become a part of the syndicate in the entire chain of conspiracy by facilitating the said consortium (of private companies) by supplying subsidized MOP, which was meant for sale to farmers only and forged documents for which he admittedly gained certain amount as his commission”.
The Congress had, on July 22, termed the ED action against Ashok Gehlot’s brother a “raid raj” created by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership in Delhi. The party added that the Centre was using federal agencies to arm-twist lawmakers to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government.
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