THE ENFORCEMENT Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested a chartered accountant associated with a company linked to Misa Bharti, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter who is a Rajya Sabha MP. The ED arrested Rajesh Kumar Agrawal in connection with a case of alleged laundering of close to Rs 8,000 crore through shell companies. Agrawal, the ED said in a statement, is “also associated with some transactions involving M/S Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd”. The company is linked to Misa Bharti and was recently in the news over allegations of tax evasion over a land purchase in southwest Delhi.
According to Registrar of Companies filings, Mishail Packers was incorporated in 2002, with Misa’s husband Shailesh Kumar Yadav as its director. The other director who joined the company this year is Nilesh Kumar. In March, the ED arrested market entry operators Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain, who were alleged to have laundered close to Rs 8,000 crore between December 2016 and March 2017. The ED said Agrawal was a mediator and CA for the Jain brothers, and allegedly helped them launder money through shell companies.
Last week, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had called for a probe by the ED into alleged links between the Jain brothers and Lalu Prasad and his family. Modi had alleged that Virendra Jain was a stakeholder in a company, Shalini Holdings, that bought 30,000 shares of Mishail Packers in 2008 at Rs 100 each. The shares were later sold back to Mishail at Rs 10 per share, he said. This money was used to buy the property in Bijwasan in Delhi, the BJP leader said. Lalu had rubbished the charges.
ED investigations, based on a case lodged by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), involved 90 shell companies with 559 beneficiaries and movement of about Rs 11,000 crore. According to the ED, the Jains allegedly accepted black money from clients through mediators and converted them into shares of premium transactions through shell companies for a commission. The Jains moved money through 26 shell companies, the agency said. “…During investigation in the matter of NKS Holdings and other companies, controlled by Surendra Kumar Jain & Virendra Jain, it was revealed that during…3 months between the opening and closing of the accounts of these companies, there was credit and debit summations to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore approx,” the ED stated.
In connection with the case, the agency has made attachments of investments worth over Rs 64 crore in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dwarka. Here, the Jains and others allegedly laundered unaccounted for money of Jagat Projects amounting to Rs 64.70 crore, the ED said. This was invested in the hotel, constructed by Divine Infracon Private Limited, a sister concern of Jagat Projects Limited, the ED said. The Jain brothers allegedly received a commission of about Rs 1.12 crore, it said.
This payment, the ED said, was made by Agrawal. “Rajesh Kumar Agrawal has played a pivotal role in the transactions between the Jain brothers and Jagat Projects Ltd… Jain Brothers was maintaining a ledger account in the name of Rajesh Kumar Agrawal,” the statement said.