New Delhi [India]: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s elder brother Agrasen Gehlot here for almost six hours in a money-laundering investigation initiated against him for allegedly receiving “proceeds of crime” from a fertiliser export scam worth over Rs 130 crore.
Gehlot deposed before the ED investigators at the agency’s headquarters here in the national capital around 11.30 am along with his lawyer. He was questioned till 6.30 pm after an almost one-hour lunch break during which he was allowed to go outside the ED office.
While speaking to ANI, Gehlot denied his involvement in the case, saying “all allegations against me are false”.
“I gave my best answers in reply to their (agency) questions. Those leveling allegations against me of Rs 120 crore or Rs 130 crore should know where the material quantity will be kept. Those who have done the scam should be probed,” Gehlot further said.
Earlier in the day, after his first round of questioning, Gehlot said “they (the agency) are doing their job.”
“I have given my answer. The allegation is fake. I have nothing to do with that. I am completely rejecting this allegation,” he said.
In his two rounds of questioning– from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm and 3.15 pm to 7 pm — ED recorded Gehlot’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Gehlot was questioned for the second time in the last 15 days in connection with the case. Last time, ED questioned Gehlot on September 27 for nearly seven hours. He then approached the High Court seeking relief from the probe agency’s coercive action. The court gave him some relief but asked him to cooperate with the investigation.
On October 4, ED issued summons to Gehlot in the case asking him to appear today (October 11).
According to a preliminary probe, Gehlot’s firm Anupam Krishi, in league with Saraf Impex Pvt Ltd, was engaged in the alleged illegal export of potash. Anupam Krishi was learnt to be the origin of the exports made by Saraf Impex. It is alleged that the total volume of illegal exports of MOP (muriate of potash) was around 30,000 tonnes, worth Rs 130 crore.
Gehlot is accused of receiving a huge commission during the deal as per allegations launched against him.
The agency has already questioned Gehlot’s son Anupam in connection with the case.
The ED registered a criminal case last year in connection with the matter based on a 2007-2009 customs department matter, which alleged irregularities in procurement and export of subsidised MOP meant for farmers and investigation, in this case, was finalised in 2013.
In its ongoing probe in the case, the ED had raided Gehlot’s businesses in Rajasthan in July last year. The raids then came amid a political fight between Ashok Gehlot and his then deputy Sachin Pilot in the state. (ANI)