ED files money laundering case against arms dealer

Verma is already being probed by the ED in the Navy war room leak case

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2012 3:25:47 am

In fresh trouble for jailed arms dealer Abhishek Verma,the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a fresh money laundering case against him while probing another case in which he allegedly received money from a Swiss defence firm to keep it off the government’s blacklist. Arrested by the CBI last month,Verma and his wife Ancia Maria Neascu,a Romanian,are currently in judicial custody.

The ED has registered the fresh complaint under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency will now approach the local court seeking permission to question Verma. ED has begun probe on the basis of the CBI complaint in which Verma has been accused of taking $5,30,000 from Swiss firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG for using his influence to stall the blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced.

Verma is already being probed by the ED in the Navy war room leak case for alleged irregularities of foreign exchange laws.

The agency is also working on the recent complaint filed by Verma in a court alleging that his US-based business partner C Edmonds Allen,an American attorney,and one Arjun Arora of Delhi had duped him of Rs 55 crore,which was to be paid to him in lieu of his consultancy service provided to them.

The ED headquarters are in touch with Allen. The CBI arrested Verma and his wife on June 8. A Delhi court on Monday rejected Neascu’s bail plea.

Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Jain said: “After hearing arguments from the CBI and the counsel for the accused,the bail application of Ancia Maria Neascu is dismissed. The bail order is being passed without being influenced by any document.”

Her counsel Vijay Aggarwal had sought bail on the ground that she is a woman and the offence for which she was arrested carries a maximum punishment of five years in case of conviction. The CBI had opposed her bail saying investigation in the case was still going on.

The court had earlier extended the judicial custody of the couple saying corruption had become “very very sophisticated mechanism” in the modern world which might have global implications in certain cases.

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