<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate today questioned a close aide of Union Minister and former army chief VK Singh in connection with its money laundering probe in a case of alleged financial irregularities in supply of high-altitude tents worth Rs 22 crore to intelligence agency RAW. Official sources said the agency sleuths questioned Shambhu Prasad Singh and recorded his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case. He was also quizzed last week. They said the alleged charges against Shambhu, who is an aide of the Minister of State for External Affairs, pertain to availing a loan of about Rs 30 crore from a bank to execute the order for the covert unit of the Research and Analysis Wing and its subsequent alleged default. The agency had registered a PMLA case based on a 2014 FIR in the same case, they said. The sources said the case is related to alleged corruption in the supply of high altitude tents worth Rs 22 crore required by SFF, a covert unit operating under the external intelligence agency RAW, during 2009-13.CBI had registered a case against Sai Baba Builders and Consultants and its three directors Shyam Sunder Bhatter, J P N Singh and Manjari, who is the wife of Shambhu. “The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against a Delhi-based private firm along with their directors, unknown officials of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) and unknown officials of Cabinet Secretariat,” the CBI had said. The Enforcement Directorate, sources said, is looking at the money trail in the case and once the ‘proceeds of crime’ are identified, the alleged tainted assets will be attached. The CBI case was registered under IPC sections related to cheating and forgery among others and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. “It has been alleged that wrongful favour was shown by the officials of the SFF and Cabinet Secretariat in the matter of the preparation of tender, procurement, supply and installation of the pre-fabricated shelters for SFF troops during the period 2009-13 which were purchased from the said company,” CBI had said.The CBI action had come after the agency received a reference in this regard from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). RAW had earlier carried out an internal probe in the matter in which prima facie irregularities were found. The report was sent to the PMO which had referred it to CBI for further probe. SFF was set up after the 1962 India-China war to carry out specialised operations for RAW.
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