ED attaches over Rs 8-cr worth assets of ex-MP Ateeq Ahmad

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has attached assets worth over Rs 8 crore of jailed Uttar Pradesh ‘gangster’ and former MP Ateeq Ahmad in connection with a money laundering investigation against him.

The agency said the provisionally attached properties “consist of land property and balances in bank accounts worth Rs 8.14 crore and they belong to ex-legislature cum mafia Ahmad and his wife Shaista Parveen.”

The action has been carried out by the Lucknow zonal office of the agency.

Joint Director of the zone Rajeshwar Singh confirmed the action to PTI and said the attachments have been done under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED, as per the order, has attached a land property situated at ‘arazi no 386 and 387, mauza katka, paragana Jhunsi’ in the Phulpur Tehsil of Allahabad and it is in the name of Parveen.

“This property was acquired by Ateeq Ahmad for a consideration of Rs 4.5 crore only, which is far below the government value of Rs 6.86 crore,” the ED said.

The attachment also included balances of Rs 1.28 crore lying in 10 bank accounts of Ahmad and an account of Parveen.

Ahmad, 59, is currently lodged in the Sabarmati jail of Gujarat in judicial custody and the ED has questioned him and recorded his statement in multiple sessions over the last few months.

He has also been charged under the Gangsters Act by the Uttar Pradesh government.

The agency said its probe found that “Ahmad, through criminal activities, used to earn dirty money in cash and it was deposited/placed in his and his relative’s bank accounts.”

“It has also been noticed by ED that funds are being credited in their accounts from various firms and companies being run by his aides,” the statement said.

It was found, it added, that these funds have been further utilised for acquisition of land property in the name of his wife at the consideration price “far below” the government value.

The agency said it obtained information about these assets and transactions from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the Income Tax Department and some other agencies.

“Statement of accused are being recorded and inquiry is being made to ascertain the source of funds invested in these companies. Money trail of the proceeds of crime is also being established,” it said.

The agency said more such orders of attachment of assets could be issued against Ahmad and his aides in the coming days.

Ahmad, a former Samajwadi Party MP, is being investigated by the ED on the basis of as many as 196 FIRs lodged against him by various police stations in Uttar Pradesh on charges of murder, extortion, cheating and land grabbing. (PTI)