PATNA: A team of CBI officials on Tuesday recorded former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi’s statement in connection with a money laundering case involving a cooperative bank headed by a close aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s.
RJD allies Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) attacked the Centre over the CBI action, dubbing it as vindictive step spurred by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s recent action of staking claim on forming government in the state. Tejashwi Yadav, who is the leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, is the younger son of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi.
Four CBI officials reached the Lalu-Rabri residence at 10, Circular Road in Patna around noon and spent about 20 minutes inside. RJD sources said Devi had been served a notice by CBI in this regard a few days ago.
“The CBI officials recorded Rabri Devi’s statements as a witness in a case involving a cooperative bank in which she had deposited some cash some days after demonetisation in 2016. She also submitted to them copies of her income tax returns. They asked her two questions and left,” said RJD national vice-president and MLA Bhola Yadav, a trusted aide of the party chief. The CBI team left “satisfied” by Devi’s statements, he added.
The case pertains to alleged money laundering by Bihar Awami Cooperative Bank (BACB) headed by Anwar Ahmed, a close aide of Lalu Prasad Yadav. In the 1990s, when Yadav was Bihar chief minister, he had made Ahmed a member of Bihar’s Legislative Council after being allegedly impressed by his culinary skills.
BACB is among banks whose allegedly dubious transactions in the wake of demonetisation are under the CBI scanner. BACB authorities had allegedly helped convert huge amounts of black money into white by accepting deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which were banned.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was present at his residence when the CBI officials interacted with Rabri Devi, but he was taking a nap, said family sources. The ailing Yadav, currently on a 42-day bail, flew to Mumbai in the evening for checkup and treatment at Asian Heart Institute.