A day after the CBI raided the residences of Lalu Prasad and his family members, the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday searched premises connected to Lalu’s daughter and RJD MP Misa Bharti. An ED team searched three farmhouses in Delhi, at Ghitorni, Bijwasan and Sainik Farms, on Saturday morning. The farmhouses are believed to be owned by Bharti, her husband Shailesh Kumar, and their company M/s Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited. Two more properties allegedly belonging to the couple have been identified by ED officials and may be searched soon, sources said.
The searches were conducted by the ED in connection with its probe into alleged laundering of over Rs 8,000 crore by two market entry operators, identified as Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain, through a maze of shell companies. Both were arrested in March. On May 23, the agency had arrested a chartered accountant, Rajesh Aggarwal, in connection with the case.
During the probe it reportedly emerged that Aggarwal had provided accommodation entries not only for the Jains but also Mishail Packers and Printers. Further probe indicated that companies floated by the Jain brothers had suspicious transactions with Mishail Packers, and the money so moved may have been used to buy farmhouses, ED sources said.
The ED probe had initially found 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, sources said. This money, it is suspected, was used to buy the property in Bijwasan.
Lalu has rubbished the charges.
Further probe revealed that 1,20,000 shares of Mishail Packers and Printers were bought during 2007-08 at a rate of Rs 100 per share by four shell companies — M/s Shalini Holdings Limited, M/s Ad-Fin Capital Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, M/s Mani Mala Delhi Properties Pvt. Ltd., and M/s Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd. These 1,20,000 shares, the ED said, were bought back by Bharti at Rs 10 per share.
Except Diamond Vinimay Pvt. Ltd., a Kolkata-based company, all these shell companies were registered in Delhi and were managed and controlled by Jain Brothers, ED sources said. “During investigation, it has been revealed that Rajesh Agarwal, CA and mediator in transactions related to the Jain brothers, had provided cash of Rs 90 lakh to Jain brothers in advance so as to invest in Mishail Packers and Printers as share premium,” an ED official said.
Jain brothers have allegedly disclosed during interrogation that their modus operandi was to receive cash in advance from the beneficiaries and invest as share premium and subsequently sell these shares at a huge discount to the directors/close relatives of beneficiaries.
Mishail Packers, the ED said, was registered at 25, Tughlaq Road, in Delhi till the shares were bought back by Bharti. In 2009-10, the address was changed to Farm No. 26, Palam Farms, VPO Bijwasan, New Delhi, it added.
“Misa Bharti and Shri Shailesh Kumar were the directors of the company during the relevant period,” an ED official said.
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.
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 attached investments worth over Rs 64 crore in Radisson Blu Hotel in Dwarka. Here, the Jains and others allegedly laundered unaccounted 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.