In a major development in the high profile bribery case involving former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, the Enforcement Directorate Saturday booked the Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Babu Sana, who had accused Asthana of graft.
The agency was expected to produce the accused before a special court in Delhi on Saturday for seeking further custody, the officials added.
Enforcement Directorate has arrested Satish Babu Sana in connection with Moin Qureshi case. pic.twitter.com/CPbgW3wHG6
— ANI (@ANI) July 27, 2019
According to The Economic Times, after being grilled for several hours by the ED, several "contradictions" were found in Sana's statements during questioning.
The businessman was earlier called in as a witness in the ED money laundering case but with the latest development, he becomes an accused. Officials said Sana was arrested from New Delhi late Friday night under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sana was grilled for a few hours and was taken into custody as he was "not cooperating" in the probe, they said. His links with Qureshi, including certain financial transactions, are considered to be dubious by the agency and hence it now wants to question him under custody.
The purchase of Rs 50 lakhs worth shares by Sana from a company belonging to Qureshi is under the scanner of the enforcement agency. Though Sana claimed to have purchased the shares from Qureshi's company few years back, he was unable to explain as to why he never received the shares nor demanded the money back from Qureshi, The Economic Times report said. It was also being investigated whether the above mentioned amount was paid by Sana to Qureshi for bribing senior CBI officials to buy relief in a corruption case.
The ED had registered a criminal case under the anti-money laundering law against Qureshi in 2017 for alleged corruption in connivance with government officials. Former CBI director AP Singh is also being probed in this case by the ED, reported PTI.
It was Sana who had claimed that two Dubai based brothers, Manoj and Somesh Prasad demanded Rs 5 crore bribe from him at the behest of Asthana to arrange a bailout for him in the Moin Qureshi case. His complaint triggered the infamous spat between the number one man in the agency — the then CBI director Alok Verma — and the number two, Asthana.
Sana was being investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI, headed by Asthana, when he had accused him for accepting bribes.
On September, 2018, Asthana had sought to arrest Sana, accusing him of paying illegal gratification to ousted CBI Director Verma to manage a bail-out. A month later on 15 October, it was on Sana’s complaint the CBI had registered a criminal FIR on charges of corruption against Asthana.
Sana had alleged to have met Manoj Prasad in Dubai, who had apparently informed Sana about having 'very good connection' in CBI and assured him of helping in the case through his brother Somesh Prasad. Prasad was arrested on 17 October by the CBI for allegedly seeking Rs 5 crore from Sana for getting him relief from the CBI's summons.
Complainant Sana, in his letter to the CBI Director, had alleged that Manoj Prasad's brother, Somesh asked had him to pay an amount of Rs 5 crore to get favour in the case from a CBI officer.
Asthana was booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under the relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Government sources had then said that Asthana, in an exhaustive letter to the Cabinet Secretary on 24 August last year, had given a list of 10 instances of alleged corruption by Verma in which it was alleged that Sana paid the CBI chief Rs 2 crore to get clean chit in the case. Both Asthana and Verma had refuted the allegations.
The ED had registered a criminal case under the anti-money laundering law against Qureshi in 2017 for alleged corruption in connivance with government officials.
It had also arrested Qureshi as part of the probe and attached his assets.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 27, 2019 12:23:46 IST