Even after spending four years and eight months in judicial custody at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune-based businessman is still very much on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was arrested in June 2012 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for alleged possession of $8 billion stashed away illegally in Swiss bank accounts.
In a fresh development, the ED has registered its second ECIR against Khan, few unknown officials and unknown politicians under the PMLA.
"Names could not be disclosed. But some fresh evidences revealed linkages of few officials (mostly from Income Tax department) and politicians who were closely associated with Khan," sources on the condition of anonymity told India Today.
What role these officials have played in Khan's case is still not known, but if sources are to be believed, then there is a high possibility of "quid pro quo" between the officials and Khan to dilute the tax evasion case against him.
Interestingly, till last year, the IT department had asked Khan to pay Rs 34000 crore as taxes, but the Income Tax Apellete Tribunal (ITAT) revised the tax liability of Khan and his wife Reema Khan to Rs 75 crore.
In February 2016, the ED had conducted searches at nine premises in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Kolkata and Hyderabad, related to Khan and his relatives. During the searches, the officials came across some indiscriminating documents and data that could put Khan under serious trouble, once again.
"As of now, we are going through in-depth data analysis. Once it gets completed, the agency would decide it's action plan," said the sources.
SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS
Last year, a three-member team of top officials of investigative agencies had questioned Khan on alleged cross-border transactions and suspicious entities set up in tax haven countries.
The investigators came across cases of tax evasion against two companies i.e. Payson Company Ltd and Autumn Holdings Ltd, set up by Khan and his associate Kashinath Tapuria in British Virgin Islands. These are some fresh details on which the ED officials are currently working.
However, the Letter Rogatory (LRs) has been sent to Singapore, UAE, UK and few other countries seeking details of financial transactions of these companies linked with Khan.
In 2007, Khan was accused of laundering $8 bn and was termed as the biggest money launderer of India. In 2001, and 2007-08, his income wad d as Rs 1.10 lakh crore and his tax liability was appraised at Rs 34,000 crore. He was also accused of having links with Saudi Arabian businessman and international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.