After top excise officials, ED raids properties of Punjab MLA Jaswant Singh
While the residences of top Punjab excise officials in connection to the alleged Delhi liquor scam, the ED searched Punjab MLA Jaswant Singh’s properties over allegations of ₹40.92 crore bank fraud
Two days after the enforcement directorate (ED) searched the residences top Punjab excise officials in connection to the alleged Delhi liquor scam, the central agency also searched the properties of Aam Aadmi Party’s Amargarh MLA Jaswant Singh Gajjan Majra on Thursday.
The ED team, accompanied by paramilitary security forces, carried out raids at a school and cattle-feed factory run by the MLA’s family in Malerkotla. The raid was going on at the time of filing this news report. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also raided the premises.
Officials privy to the matter, on the condition of anonymity, said the ED searched Jaswant Singh properties because the CBI is investigating him for bank fraud. A case has been registered against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
On May 7, the CBI had raided the MLA’s properties in connection to the ₹40.92 crore bank fraud case. The CBI had said they raided the places and people associated with the accused, including directors, guarantors and private firms.
Nearly 88 foreign currency notes, ₹16.57 lakh (approximately), property documents, bank accounts details and other incriminating documents were recovered during the searches, the agency had said.
Jaswant Singh is among the seven people and companies named as accused in the case. Balwant Singh, Kulwant Singh, Tejinder Singh, M/s Tara Health Foods Ltd through its directors, M/s Tara Corporation Ltd (renamed as Malaudh Agro Ltd), and some unidentified bureaucrats and private persons are also named in the bank fraud case.
The probe was initiated after a case was filed on a complaint from Bank of India in Ludhiana against a private firm based in Gaunspura, tehsil-Malerkotla (Punjab) and others, including directors, guarantors of the company, another private firm and some unknown public servants.
“It was alleged that the said private firm was engaged in trading of DOC (de-oiled cake) rice bran, DOC mustard cake, cottonseed cake, maize, bajra and other food grains. The borrower firm was sanctioned loans at four intervals from 2011-2014 by the Bank,” the statement added.
The complaint further alleged that through its directors, the firm had concealed “hypothecated stock and diverted book debts with malafide and dishonest intention so that the same were not made available to the creditor bank for inspection and for effecting recovery as secured creditor”.
The operation caused the bank to incur a loss of approximately ₹40.02 crore. Another allegation is that the loan availed by the accused has not been utilised for the purpose for which it was taken.
Pertinently, on September 6, the ED had raided residences of excise commissioner and joint commissioner in connection with the Delhi “liquor scam.”