Former Karnataka Water Resources Minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Saturday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi for questioning in connection with the alleged money laundering case. This is the second day DK Shivakumar is being questioned by the ED.
The Enforcement Directorate is now looking into DK Shivakumarâ€™s connections in Singapore, which is the primary topic of interrogation on Saturday, the source said. The ED is questioning Shivakumar regarding the business trip he took with his daughter Aisshwarya to Singapore in July 2017.
This is in connection with the documents the Income Tax Department had found during the search and seizure operation carried out at the residence of Shivakumarâ€™s financial assistant N Chandrashekar on August 2, 2017.
â€śAt Chandrashekarâ€™s residence, we found that Shivakumarâ€™s daughter Aisshwarya had dealings with Coffee Day and M/s Soul Space. Chandrashekar has told I-T that Rs 20 crore was transferred to DK Shivakumar by Coffee Day. This led the I-T to look into Rajneesh Gopinath, a Singapore citizen, and they found Rs 1.2 crore cash at Rajneeshâ€™s house, which allegedly belonged to VG Siddhartha, meant for transfer to DK Shivakumar. The questioning is about the money laundering through cross-border networks and how DK Shivakumar laundered money though these channels,â€ť the ED source alleged.
On Friday evening at around 6.30 pm, the Congress leader had appeared before the ED for questioning, after the Karnataka High Court refused to grant him interim protection from the summons.
Sources with the ED say that DK Shivakumar was grilled till 11.45 pm on Friday regarding his links to Sunil Kumar Sharma, the proprietor of Sharma Travels and also his connection to Karnataka Bhavan employee Anjaneya Hanumantha and Sunil Kumar Sharmaâ€™s driver N Rajendra.
ED sources alleged that DK Shivakumar had invested in Sharma Travels, a transport company based out of Bengaluru. Further the ED suspects that DK Shivakumar had allegedly paid for the flats purchased by Sunil Kumar Sharma in Safdarjung Enclave in New Delhi. These were the same flats where the Income tax Department had conducted search and seizure operations on August 2, 2017 and allegedly found Rs 8.83 crore in cash.
â€śWhen Sunil Kumar Sharma was questioned, he had said that DK Shivakumar had paid for one of the three flats he had purchased in Safdarjung Enclave. DK Shivakumar denied this. On the other hand, he told us that Anjaneya Hanumantha, the Karnataka Bhavan employee, ran business-related errands for Shivakumar in New Delhi. Shivakumar also said that he had allowed Anjaneyaâ€™s family to reside in one of his flats in Safdarjung Enclave,â€ť the source alleged.
Sunil Kumar Sharmaâ€™s driver, N Rajendra has turned approver in the EDâ€™s case of money laundering against DK Shivakumar. N Rajendra allegedly told the ED that DK Shivakumar used to give him bags of cash, that he transported to various locations. â€śDK Shivakumar has denied transporting cash for purposes of giving kickbacks. He has, however, said that he had on a few occasions asked Rajendra to deliver money for his business dealings,â€ť the ED source said.
In September 2018, soon after the Income Tax Department filed a chargesheet against the former minister at the Economic Offences Court, the ED had booked DK Shivakumar, Suresh Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya Hanumantha and DK Shivakumar's buisness associate Sachin Narayana under the Prevenetion of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).