Free Press Journal

ED summons to 4 staff of Singapore firm in which Bhujbal firm invested


Chhagan Bhujbal

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate today issued summons to four individuals of a Singapore-based firm, in which a company of Chhagan Bhujbal has invested, a day after the agency registered two cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act against the NCP leader.

Meanwhile, the RBI has written back to ED saying that the former Maharashtra PWD minister has indeed transferred 5 million USD (around Rs 30 crore) to a Singapore account. “We had sought information from RBI about Bhujbal transferring money to Singapore’s Export Earning Foreign Currency (EEFC) account,” an ED official told PTI.

The official said summons have been sent to the “four individuals of the Singapore-based firm in which Bhujbal’s company Armstrong Energy has invested”. The questioning of these four persons will hold key to Bhujbal’s money trail — the source of income, where the money has come from, and where and how it was invested, the official said.

“After questioning these persons, we will decide if Bhujbal needs to be called,” the official said. Yesterday, ED had registered two Economic Case Information Reports (ECIR) against Bhujbal and others under (PMLA) suspecting illegal transactions to the tune of Rs 900 crore in all.

The first ECIR pertained to the Maharashtra Sadan scam and Kalina land allotment case while the second ECIR relates to a housing project at Navi Mumbai wherein its developer had allegedly collected 10 per cent of the flat’s total cost as booking amount in 2010 but started no work.

The Navi Mumbai police, on Saturday, had booked Bhujbal in the case involving an amount of Rs 44 crore. It concerns 2,300 people who had booked houses in the project ‘Hex World’ promoted by a realty company owned by the Bhujbal family at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.

A group of 25-30 people, waiting for the housing project to take off for four years, had approached the court over the delay in its construction. Earlier, ACB had searched seven properties in Mumbai, two in Thane, five in Nashik and two in Pune to ascertain the assets owned by Bhujbal, his son Pankaj Bhujbal and nephew Samir.