ED conducts raids against Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted searches at several places in three states, including Delhi, in connection with the money laundering probe against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

“The searches were conducted today (Friday) in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata with regard to the money laundering probe against the chief minister,” an ED official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The ED registered the money-laundering case against him on November 15.

Singh was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after the agency took cognizance of a criminal case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in September.

The ED investigation aims to find out how Virbhadra Singh and his family allegedly amassed wealth totalling Rs.6.1 crore between 2009 and 2011, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income, while serving as the union steel minister.

The CBI has already filed a first information report against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, insurance agent Anand Chauhan and Chauhan’s brother C.L. Chauhan under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

During 2009-11, Virbhadra Singh allegedly invested Rs.6.1 crore in life insurance policies in his and his family members’ names through insurance agent Chauhan, claiming the money to be his agricultural income.

The probe agency alleged that Virbhadra Singh attempted to legitimise the same as agricultural income by filing revised income tax returns in 2012.

“The agricultural income as claimed by him in his revised ITRs was not found to be tenable. The then union minister had allegedly accumulated other assets disproportionate to known sources of income,” the CBI alleged.

The CBI had carried out searches at 13 premises belonging to Virbhadra Singh and his family in Delhi, Shimla and other places in September immediately after filing the FIR.