The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday produced Karnataka Congress strongman DK Shivakumar before the Rouse Avenue Court. The ED sought extension of Shivakumar’s custody by 5 days, alleging that the Congress leader was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation.
Appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, ASG KM Natraj told the court that the agency has collected voluminous documents, which Shivakumar needs to be confronted with. The ED also alleged that many of Shivakumar’s properties were ‘benami’ and that he diverted more than Rs 200 crore of tainted money through 317 bank accounts.
“Many of Shivakumar’s properties are ‘benami’. Tainted money diverted through 317 bank accounts. As per probe against Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs 200 crore and there is Rs 800 crore worth ‘benami’ properties” ASG Natraj told the court.
Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 3 in connection with a money laundering case that surfaced following an I-T raid in 2017. The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate SK Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.
After his arrest, the former Karnataka minister was sent to a 9-day ED custody that ends today. The ED had informed the court that it needed to ascertain the source of unaccounted cash seized by IT-Dept in 2017 and unearth the modus operandi.
The Congress leader, however, categorically denied the probe agency’s allegations and termed his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering “politically motivated”. He said that he is a victim of the ruling BJP’s “politics of vengeance and vendetta”.