Hard-pressed to explain how the “Rs 50,000” stolen from his house had ballooned into “Rs 1.14 crore” recovered from the thief involved, BJP MP Giriraj Singh on Saturday came up with a new figure: his cousin. The entire cash found with the thief, he told police in Patna, belonged to this cousin with “the flourishing real estate business” in Nagpur, Rakesh Kumar Singh.
While the Nawada MP had owned up to at least Rs 50,000 of the crore-plus earlier, this was the first ever mention of Rakesh. The Nagpur-based “builder” was not mentioned even when the MP’s family first lodged a complaint of theft at their Patna residence.
On Saturday, Singh walked into S K Puri police station, where the case was lodged, along with Rakesh and recorded his statement. He said Rakesh had kept the cash at his home “with some business expansion purpose”. Patna traffic SP Rajiv Mishra, who is the in-charge SSP, was present during recording of Singh’s statement.
According to BJP state chief Mangal Pandey, Singh had complained about theft of Rs 50,000 cash. But on Saturday, the MP said that this money, plus the extra Rs 64,000 and $600 in cash recovered from the thief, Dinesh, all belonged to Rakesh.
The cousin’s statement was not recorded as he was not the complainant, nor was his name mentioned in the FIR, police said. They asked the MP to produce all the property, business and I-T returns details of his cousin as soon as possible.
Police said Rakesh essentially had a maize/poultry business and also dabbled in land deals. SP Mishra told The Sunday Express that Rakesh had told them he ran a poultry business in Nagpur by the names Shri Jagdamba Poultry Pvt Ltd and Ma Gauri Pvt Ltd. The companies supply eggs as well as maize as poultry feed.
Dinesh is alleged to have carried out the robbery at Singh’s Boring Road flat with the help of the MP’s domestic help, bodyguard and a security guard, on July 8. A day later, police caught Dinesh and recovered from him Rs 1.14 crore in cash, $600, gold and silver jewellery and six costly watches. Dinesh told police he had stolen the money and ornaments from Singh’s flat. All four accused are now in jail.
Bihar Additional Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said: “We had received complaint of a theft, which we successfully cracked. Our part of the job is done. Now it is up to other agencies to find out the real owner of the recovered cash.”
The Enforcement Directorate and I-T department are likely to question the MP soon. The state police has asked its Economic Offences Unit to investigate the matter.
The state government has also begun reviewing all the purchases made when Singh was in-charge of the Animal and Fisheries Resources Department between November 2010 and June 2013, while the BJP was part of the ruling coalition. The purchase of ambulances for animals for Rs 500 core is one of the big schemes under the scanner.