Rajasthan Crisis: Gehlot’s brother to be questioned by ED today

JAIPUR: Amid political turmoil in Rajasthan, CM Ashok Gehlot’s elder brother Agrasen Gehlot will be questioned by Enforcement Directorate today. Agrasen has been summoned by ED and will be questioned for alleged money laundering and financial irregularities in exporting fertilizer said ED officials.

Agrasen Gehlot has been asked to depose before the investigating officer on Wednesday in Delhi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. On July 22, the central agency raided Agrasen Gehlot’s premises in Jodhpur and a few other places in connection with the case filed under the criminal charges of PMLA.

Officials said the agency seized a number of documents during the raids and Agrasen Gehlot will be confronted with these during his questioning. Some other people involved in the case are also understood to have been summoned by the probe agency.

The raids happened after the agency filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR, in the 2007-09 Customs department case registered for alleged irregularities in the procurement and export of subsidized Muriate of Potash (MOP) meant for farmers and investigation, in this case, was finalized in 2013.

The ED took cognizance of the Customs FIR and a July 13 charge sheet to press money-laundering charges to probe a “smuggling syndicate” allegedly run by Agrasen Gehlot, his firm Anupam Krishi and others, officials said.

The agency said the case pertains to the fraudulent export of MOP in the guise of industrial salts to buyers based in Malaysia and Taiwan. The MOP is a restricted commodity for exports so that it is easily available to farmers in the country.

The raids happened at a time when a political slugfest was on between CM Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot. Pilot, a former Union minister, was sacked as Rajasthan deputy CM and PCC chief recently.

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