Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case. The probe agency alleged that the minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government was involved in hawala transactions with a Kolkata-based firm in 2015-16. A hawala system involves two parties transacting money with local agents on their behalf without the funds actually passing through formal banking channels.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a case against Mr Jain and his family in August 2017 for alleged money laundering up to ₹ 1.62 crore. The CBI alleged Mr Jain and his family set up four shell firms – companies with no real business – to launder ₹ 11.78 crore in 2011-12 and ₹ 4.63 crore in 2015-16. The Enforcement Directorate started its probe into the money laundering allegations based on the CBI’s first information report, or FIR.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted this evening the arrest was made with an eye on the upcoming election in Himachal Pradesh, where Mr Jain is the AAP’s in-charge.
“A fake case is being run against Satyendar Jain for eight years. Till now ED (Enforcement Directorate) has called many times. In between, ED stopped calling for many years as they did not get anything. Now they started again because Satyendar Jain is the election in-charge of Himachal,” Sisodia tweeted.
“BJP is losing badly in Himachal. That is why Satyendar Jain has been arrested today so that he cannot go to Himachal. He will be released in a few days as the case is completely fake,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Elections in the BJP-ruled hill state will be held later this year. The AAP is eyeing a win, confident of starting a streak since its first victory in a full-fledged state, Punjab, earlier this year.
The arrest also comes nearly two months after properties worth ₹ 4.81 crore owned by the Aam Aadmi Party leader and his family were attached by the Enforcement Directorate.