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ED takes possession of 15 'benami' assets linked to DMK MP A Raja

The assets, measuring about 45 acres of land in Coimbatore, were attached by the central agency in December last year and the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA approved this order on June 1.
Last Updated : 10 October 2023, 11:29 IST
Last Updated : 10 October 2023, 11:29 IST

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday took possession of 15 immovable properties owned by former Telecom Minister A Raja in the name of his benami company under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a disproportionate assets (DA) case against him.

The case pertains to Raja’s tenure as Union Minister of Environment and Forest from 2004 to 2007 in the UPA-1 regime. According to the ED, Raja granted environmental clearances to a Gurgaon-based real estate company, which gave kickbacks to the minister as quid pro quo.

Raja had incorporated the company in question, Kovai Shelters Promoters Limited, in 2007 in the name of his family members and his close family friend, with the sole objective of using it as “a vehicle to park the proceeds of crime.”

“The said company never engaged in any business activity since inception. ED investigation established that the properties measuring 45 acres of land in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu (worth around Rs 55 Crore) were purchased directly using the proceeds of crime generated by Raja,” the ED said in a statement.

In order to prevent Raja and his benamis from enjoying such properties, the ED has invoked the provisions of Section 8(4) of PMLA and taken the possession of the properties attached vide provisional attachment order dated December 20, 2022, which was subsequently confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority (PMLA), Delhi, the agency said.

Raja, deputy general secretary of the DMK, was a Union Minister under the NDA-1, UPA-1, and UPA-2 governments. He was forced to resign as minister in November 2010 after his name cropped up in the 2G scam. However, a CBI court had in 2017 discharged Raja and others, including his party colleague Kanimozhi, from the case.

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Published 10 October 2023, 11:29 IST

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