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ED says Rs 600 crore in proceeds of crime found in raids Lalu family

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday said it has seized "unaccounted cash" of Rs 1 crore and detected proceeds of crime worth Rs 600 crore after it raided RJD chief Lalu Prasad's family in connection with the railways land for job 'scam' linked money laundering case. It said the investigation is underway to unearth more investments made on behalf of Prasad's family and their associates in various sectors, including real estate, at various places. The ED had launched raids on Friday at multiple locations linked to Prasad's family members including that of his son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in Delhi. Another Rs 600 crore in proceeds of crime have been detected in the raids.

Tejashwi Yadav's bungalow in Delhi’s upscale New Friends Colony was purchased for just Rs 4 lakh and its market price is now Rs 150 crore, the Enforcement Directorate said after a series of raids on Lalu Yadav’s son and daughters. The property, an independent four-storied bungalow registered in the name of AB Exports Private Limited, is owned and controlled by Tejashwi Yadav and family, the agency said. “During the searches, Tejasvi Yadav was found to be staying at this house and was using it as his residential property,” it said. The ED alleged four land parcels acquired by  Yadav's family for just Rs 7.5 lakh from poor Group-D applicants were sold to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA Syed Abu Dojana by Lalu Yadav's wife Rabri Devi for Rs 3.5 crore in a "collusive deal". It alleged a big portion of the amount was sent to Tejashwi Yadav's account. "... During the investigation that in many railways zones, more than 50 per cent of recruited candidates were from Lalu Yadav families' constituencies. Further investigation in this regard is ongoing," the ED said in the statement.

Several pieces of land at prominent locations in Patna and other areas were illegally acquired by the family of the then railway minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, in lieu of jobs in the Railways, the agency claimed. The current market value of these land parcels is over Rs 200 crore. Several benamidars, shell entities and beneficial owners for these lands have been identified, it added. The ED said searches at 24 locations in Delhi-National Capital Region, Patna, Mumbai and Ranchi led to the recovery of unaccounted Rs 1 crore cash, foreign currency of $1,900, 540 gram gold bullion, over 1.5 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 1.25 crore and property documents in the name of  Yadav's family members.

Lalu Yadav and leaders of his RJD and even their ally and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have dismissed all the allegations by the ED as politically motivated. "Action is being taken suddenly after five years. Why didn't they pursue the case then?" Kumar told reporters on Saturday. He alleged the ED is targeting the RJD after his Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), joined hands with Mr Yadav's party to form government in Bihar. The JD(U) and BJP earlier ruled Bihar in an alliance.

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