Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate grills Baba Siddique for 10 hours in money laundering case

Mumbai: Former Congress legislator Baba Siddique appeared before the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) Mumbai zonal office on Friday in connection with a money laundering case related to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) plot in Bandra.

One of the senior ED officials told the Free Press Journal that Siddique was questioned for at least 10 hours. “His statement has been recorded. We will verify the claims Siddique has made in his statement today (Friday),” the officer said.

Responding to the question on whether Siddique cooperated with the ED officials investigating the case, he said, “It is premature to comment on this. His claims need to be thoroughly investigated.”

Last week, ED had conducted searches on the premises of Siddique’s residence and that of few others in connection with the money laundering case. Earlier this week, Siddique was summoned by ED to appear before the agency to record his statement.

“Our investigation is at nascent stage. Siddique will again be asked to come before investigators in connection with the case,” the officer said.

However, the next date for Siddique’s deposition before ED official has not yet been finalised.

The central probe agency had conducted raids on May 31, at about seven locations here, including those belonging to Siddique, a builder connected to him and a real estate firm.

Based on local police’s First Information Report (FIR), the ED recently registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Case (PMLA) against Siddique and about a dozen others.

Bandra police had registered an FIR in 2014, on directions of a local court, to probe financial irregularities in the slum rehabilitation project in which Siddique is alleged to have been involved.

Siddique was chairman of the Mumbai board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) between 2000 and 2004.

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