Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Asaram, Sai have vast land holdings, properties worth Rs 10,000 cr: Surat police

Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: January 31, 2014 6:38 am | Updated: February 5, 2014 6:04 pm

Self-styled godman Asaram has accumulated wealth to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore and vast tracts of land across the country, the value of which is yet to be assessed, the police said on Thursday.

“The scrutiny of documents recovered has established that wealth of Asaram’s ashrams in the form of bank accounts and other investments, including shares, debentures and government bonds (excluding land), is valued at Rs 9,000-Rs 10,000 crore,” Commissioner of Police Rakesh Asthana told reporters.

“The value of land has not been included in the assessment of Rs 10,000 crore,” he said and added that the figure could escalate as many more documents are still to be retrieved.

The city police have informed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Income-Tax (IT) department and Enforcement Directorate for further probe.

Asaram and Sai are facing sexual assault cases and are in judicial custody. Sai also faces a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Police said the papers show that investments were made not only in India but also abroad.

Surat police had carried out raids in a house owned by Narayan Sai in Ahmedabad on October 26 and 27 and recovered large number of documents related to land, financial investments and business loans. These were packed in 42 bags and brought to Surat. The officials had also recovered six hard discs and a CPU.

After two-and-a-half months of scrutiny process by the police along with a chartered accountant, the police found cash investments, land deal documents and evidence of violations of foreign exchange in the transactions.

Asthana said, “The documents reveal that Asaram and Sai hold land at 45 places across 10 districts in Gujarat. They also own land at 33 places across eight districts Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Apart from the two, land was owned in the names of Kaushik Wani, Bhadresh Patel, Ajay Shah, Ajay Sharma, Kailash Dobhi, Sunil Sewani, Ganga and Jamna.”

These documents have been recovered from one place and it is not known whether they used to keep papers in any other place, Asthana said.

The police also recovered balance sheet from the CPU and hard disks containing details of money loaned at interest to various business houses. Police also recovered documents listing investments in Kisan Vikas Patra, promissory notes, mutual funds, bonds, securities, fixed deposits, investments in Unit Trust of India, LIC, etc. These investments are said to be worth Rs. 6000 crores, the police said.

The documents also reveal loans worth Rs. 200 crores given to foreign companies and cheque transactions in dollars, pounds, Canadian dollar, Euros, Dirhams, leading to suspicions of violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
(With inputs from PTI)

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