Kerala

ED questioning former T.N. Minister

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned C. Vijaya Baskar, former Health Minister of Tamil Nadu, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with a cheating case filed as part of an alleged purchase of gold from a prominent jewellery firm in Kerala.

He reached the Kochi office of the ED around 10.30 a.m. The central agency was pursuing a cheating case filed by a prominent jewellery firm in the State at the Angamaly Police station in 2016 alleging that a woman based in Alappuzha, had siphoned off gold worth ₹2.5 crore. She had reportedly used her links with political leaders in Tamil Nadu to procure the gold in credit and allegedly failed to clear the dues, according to the complaint.

The central agency had launched a preliminary probe to check whether money laundering was involved in the purchase of gold. The woman reportedly told the ED that she did not cheat the jewellery firm and claimed that the gold was given as commission for linking influential persons with the company. The woman alleged that she had brokered the purchase of a large quantity of gold by Mr. Vijaya Baskar. The ED summoned him to check whether the allegations made by the woman were true.

Officials of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in Tamil Nadu had searched the houses of Mr. Vijaya Baskar and his relatives in Pudukottai and other places on October 18 after booking a disproportionate assets case against him and his wife.

The DVAC had filed a first information report on information that Mr. Vijaya Baskar had indulged in corrupt practices and enriched himself by acquiring assets in his and dependents' names.

False complaint

In a statement, Mr Vijaya Baskar alleged that the woman who has a criminal background, had previously lodged a ‘false complaint’ against him in Tirunelveli for which he had initiated defamation proceedings against her through his lawyer.

In response to the ‘witness summon’ issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate, he had appeared before them, he said.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 11:19:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ed-questioning-former-tn-minister/article37750955.ece

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