The documents concern ownership of real estate assets worth Rs 350 crore and transactions worth Rs 250 crore created through various benamidaars, according to the agency.
The searches were conducted as part of a money laundering investigation into the case, which dates back to Lalu’s tenure as Minister of Railways under the UPA government and involves alleged extortion of land from people who received, in return, group D works in various areas of the railways. “During the investigation it was revealed that in many railway areas, more than 50% of the candidates recruited were from Lalu Prasad’s family constituencies,” ED said.
The land allegedly taken as bribes from “poor parents” was later sold at huge prizes, with the money earned mostly going into Tejashwi’s accounts, the agency said.
Properties that are under ED examination include a four-story bungalow, D-1088 in New Delhi’s New Friends Colony. Worth around Rs 150 crore, it was proven to have been acquired for a measly Rs 4 lakh. The ED said the property is registered in the name of AB Exports Pvt Ltd, a company owned and controlled by Tejashwi. “During the searches, it was found that Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was staying in this house and that he used it as his own residential property,” ED said. Following ED’s claims, Tejashwi emerges as the main beneficiary of the “land-for-work scam”.
“The investigation so far has revealed that several pieces of land in prominent places in Patna and other areas were illegally acquired by the family of the then railway mantri, Lalu Prasad Yadav, in lieu of jobs provided in the railways. The current market value of these land plots is more than Rs 200 crore,” the ED said in a press statement. The agency also said that it has identified several benamidaars, hedging entities and beneficial owners for these lands .
“A huge amount of money/proceeds of crime is suspected to have been infused into the purchase of this property and some Mumbai based entities dealing in the gem and jewelery industry have been used to funnel illicit proceeds of crime to about that,” the ED further said.
“The investigation found that four plots of land purchased by Lalu Yadav’s family for just Rs 7.5 lakh from poor claimants from Group D were sold to Syed Abu Dojana, ex-RJD MLA, by Rabri Devi with huge profits at Rs 3.5 crore in a collusive deal,” the ED said, adding that a major part of the amount thus received was transferred to Tejashwi’s account.
The agency said it recovered unaccounted cash of Rs 1 crore, $1,900 in foreign currency, 540g of gold bars and more than 1.5kg of gold jewelery (worth Rs 1.25 crore ), various ownership documents, deeds of sale in the name of family members (of Lalu Yadav ).
Land for Job scam: ED detects Rs 600 crore in ‘proceeds of crime’ in raid against Lalu Prasad’s family