NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached Rs 89.68 lakh in a money laundering probe related to a six-year-old bribery case involving Vijay Singla, the nephew of then Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
The agency began probe in the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR and a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Singla, his friend Sandeep Goyal, Mahesh Kumar, Member (Staff) in the Railway Board, and seven other accused.
According to the CBI investigation, Mahesh Kumar, a 1975 batch officer of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) and posted as General Manager in Western Railways, wanted to get himself appointed as Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board instead of Member (Staff).
"For the purpose, Mahesh was in touch with N. Manjunath, who was further in touch with Singla's friend. Singla demanded Rs 10 crore through his friend from Manjunath to get Mahesh posted as Member (Electrical)," the ED said.
The CBI team caught Singla red-handed in May 2013 when he was receiving Rs 89.68 lakh as a token amount of the bribe during a raid conducted at his office at Sector 28 in Chandigarh. At that time, Bansal was the Railway Minister in United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
During investigations, the ED said that it was found that Manjunath, on behalf of Mahesh Kumar, was persuading various railway vendors, manufacturers and contractors for making arrangement of the bribe amount for his appointment as Member (Electrical) by assuring them that all the contributors would be taken care of when he got his desired posting.
Investigation further revealed that the first instalment of bribe amount of Rs 89.68 lakh was contributed by Manjunath, M.V. Murli Krishna, Sushil Daga and firm Venketeshwara Rail Nirman Pvt. Ltd.
The ED said that Rs 50 lakh was contributed by Manjunath himself, Rs 25 lakh by Krishan, Rs 5 lakh by Daga and Rs 10 lakh from the account of Venketeshwara Rail Nirman Pvt Ltd.
"The Rs 89.68 lakh bribe amount was routed through the account of various companies and individuals and with assistance of hawala agents. It was finally arranged at Delhi in the form of cash and thereafter was delivered to Singla at his Chandigarh office where the CBI carried out raids," the ED added.