Ranchi/New Delhi: Stepping up its action in the alleged multi-crore money laundering case involving former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to attach properties worth Rs 143 crore belonging to his close aides. The orders for attachment of these properties spread in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ranchi and Jamshedpur will soon be issued and later be sent to the agency's investigations unit in the Jharkhand capital, sources said.
The properties, according to the sources, belong to the associates of Koda including those of businessman Anil Bastawade who was brought from Indonesia recently after the Interpol informed the ED about his presence in the foreign land. Properties of other Koda associates like Manoj Punamiya have also been attached under the stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) today, sources added.
The ED has been investigating Koda and others for allegedly making illegal investments and transactions by corrupt means and laundering during the time he was the state Chief Minister. Bastawade is claimed by the investigators to be one of the crucial persons in the case and he is being continuously grilled by ED sleuths since he was brought to Ranchi last month.
Bastawade, investigators claim, helped Koda and his other associates to invest and purchase a number of properties in the middle-east, Indonesia and Thailand. He is the seventh accused arrested after Koda, Binod Sinha, Vikas Sinha, Manoj Punamiya, Arvind Vyas and Vijay Joshi in connection with the money laundering and illegal investment case slapped against them.
Koda, who is at present in judicial custody in a jail in Ranchi, was arrested on November 30, 2009 after the Income Tax department and the ED claimed to have unearthed a Rs 2500 crore money laundering and illegal investment scam following country-wide raids on 70 premises on October 31 the same year. An ED official said the amount of the scam, which allegedly took place during the Koda regime between 2006 and 2008, has now gone up to Rs 3,400 in course of investigations.
The ED had earlier attached properties, both immovable and movable, worth Rs 200 crore in this case and had also filed a charge sheet in this regard in a special court in Ranchi in 2012.