Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Black money: ED arrests Hasan Ali Khan

Stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, accused of massive money laundering and tax evasion, was on Monday night arrested by theEnforcement Directorate which carried out multi-city searches at his Pune home and his associates' premises, cracking the whip to meet Supreme Court Tuesday deadline.

Khan reported seriously ill on Tuesday morning. He was taken to Mumbai's St George Hospital and then shifted to JJ Hospital.

Earlier, 53-year-old Khan, who was detained in Pune and brought to Mumbai at 6pm on Monday, was grilled by the ED for nearly six hours before they put him under arrest around midnight.

ED officials took him to his posh house in Peddor Road in South Mubai where he was quizzed till 10.30 pm before the ED officials took him to the their headquarters at Nariman Point.

The ED officials also inspected documents related top alleged hawala transactions.

He was further questioned about his alleged money laundering deals and put under arrests around midnight

Khan has been charged under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

"I am innocent. I haven't done anything wrong," he told reporters before entering the ED office.

Sources said searches were carried out at the premises of Khan and his associates at Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

In Kolkata, searches were conducted at the residence of businessman Kashinath Taparia. ED sources told PTI Taparia was an alleged aide of Khan but Taparia claimed he had no "partnership" with him at all.

ED sources had said the statement of Khan's associate and hotelier Philip Anand Raj was being recorded in Delhi.

Khan's lawyer R K Gaur said he is being taken to ED's Mumbai office for further interrogation and to possibly confront him with "some documents."

Khan's arrest came on the eve of the Supreme Court's March eight deadline to the government to inform it how it proposed to tackle black money hoarders.

The Supreme Court while blasting the Centre last Thursday for not having the "will power" to act against black money hoarders asked why Khan and others were not subjected to custodial interrogation despite the probe agencies possessing sufficient material against them.

The previous searches at Khan's Koregaon home were in January 2007 when the Income Tax department had raided the premises.


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