The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday interrogated Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, for about 11 hours in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged land fraud, in which the agency recently arrested former chief minister Hemant Soren, officials said.
Mr Sahu, 64, entered the ED’s regional office here at around 11 am and left it at 10 pm.
He has been called for questioning again on Sunday as the interrogation could not be completed, officials said.
The Congress MP was in the news in December last year after the Income Tax department seized Rs 351.8 crore in cash during raids on the premises linked to Odisha-based Boudh Distillery Pvt. Ltd, promoted by his family.
The ED is recording Mr Sahu’s statement in connection with his alleged links with Soren and a luxury car that was seized by the agency from the JMM executive president’s residence in Delhi during a search last month, the officials said.
According to the officials, ED sleuths found the car’s key in the Jharkhand government-leased property in south Delhi and took the vehicle with them after the completion of the raids there.
Asked about the subject of the interrogation after he came out of the ED office, the Congress MP said it was regarding the luxury vehicle.
“There is nothing much… The vehicle did not belong to the former CM and is owned by someone else… The investigations are on about this,” Mr Sahu said.
On whether the car belonged to him, Mr Sahu said, “This is wrong …this is a lie.” Asked about the cash allegedly recovered from the vehicle, the MP said: “I have nothing to do with that …That car is not mine.” Meanwhile, according to sources, a WhatsApp group has come under the scanner of the federal agency where some people linked to the case discussed the ownership details of the seized BMW car in Delhi.
Sahibganj Deputy Commissioner Ramniwas Yadav and Soren’s press adviser Abhishek Prasad alias Pintu also appeared before the ED on Saturday for questioning in a money laundering investigation linked to alleged illegal mining in the state, officials said.
The ED sleuths had interrogated Prasad for several hours in connection with the case on Friday.
Meanwhile, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, who is another accused in the money laundering case related to Hemant Soren, on Saturday was taken to a piece of land at Bargain circle in Ranchi which, the ED claims, belonged to the former chief minister.
Bhanu Pratap Prasad, a former revenue department sub-inspector of the Jharkhand government who is in ED custody in connection with the case, was taken there as part of the investigation, the officials said.
Mr Soren was arrested on January 31 night after he resigned as the Jharkhand chief minister. Senior party leader and transport minister Champai Soren was then made his successor.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)