Chennai: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has provisionally attached 45 acres of land in Coimbatore held in the name of a benami company of former Union Minister and DMK MP A Raja.
“During the course of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigations, the ED found that Raja during his tenure as Minister of Environment Minister (2004-07) has granted environmental clearance to a real estate company, based out of Gurgaon. The ED has found that the company has given kickback to Raja as quid pro quo for awarding the environmental clearance, around the same period, in 2007,” the ED said.
Companies in the name of family members & close friends
According to the agency, the quid pro quo was in the garb of land commission income in the hands of a benami company of Raja.
“It is found that Raja incorporation the company in 2007 in the name of his family members and his close family friend, with the sole objective of using it as a vehicle to park the proceeds of the crime,” the ED said on Thursday. The said company was never engaged in any business activity since inception and the entire money received in the company was quid pro quo from the real estate deal and was used for acquiring land in Coimbatore.
“The properties – 45 acres of land – in Coimbatore worth Rs 55 crore have been purchased directly using the proceeds of crime,” it said adding the properties have been provisionally attached by the ED. It may be recalled that Raja, the Lok Sabha MP from Nilgiris constituency and Deputy Secretary of DMK, was under the radar of the ED in the 2G spectrum scam.
Further investigation in the matter is on.
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