New Delhi, October 12: In what can only be called a blow to the Minister of State for External Affairs, the Enforcement Directorate today questioned a close aide of the Union Minister. SP Singh who has long known to be an aide of the former army chief VK Singh is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case.Also Read - Govt Extends Tenures of CBI, Enforcement Directorate Chiefs Up To 5 Years; Issues Ordinances
The Enforcement Directorate is probing a case relating to the alleged financial irregularities in the supply of high-altitude tents worth Rs 22 crore to intelligence agency R&AW. While ED is investigating the matter, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) has registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against Shambu Prasad Singh. Also Read - Director Puri Jagannadh Questioned For 10 Hours by ED | Here's All About The Tollywood Drugs Case
Shambu Prasad Singh was earlier questioned by top investigators of the Enforcement Directorate. The External Affairs Minister’s close aide had to record his statement under the PML Act. According to sources, SP Singh availed a loan of Rs. 30 crores from a bank. He then set about supplying the tents to the covert unit of the Research and Analysis Wing, which is India’s top spy agency. However, there was an alleged default noted in the supply. (ALSO READ: Army chief Dalbir Singh accuses Union minister VK Singh of imposing illegal ban on him) Also Read - ED Summons Mamata's Nephew Abhishek Banerjee, His Wife in Money Laundering Case
Initially, the Central Bureau of Investigation had registered a case against Sai Baba Builders and Consultants in response to the fraud. As a consequence, a case was registered against the company’s three directors, Shyam Sunder Bhatter, J P N Singh and Manjari. What was striking however, is Manjari is the wife of SP Singh. This has led to suspecting him in the case case related to alleged corruption in the supply of high altitude tents worth Rs 22 crore required by SFF. The SFF is a covert unit operating under the external intelligence agency R&AW. The unit was operational from 2009 to 2013.
While registering the initial case, the CBI had said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against a Delhi-based private firm along with their directors, unknown officials of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) and unknown officials of Cabinet Secretariat.” Further the CBI had also added, “It has been alleged that wrongful favour was shown by the officials of the SFF and Cabinet Secretariat in the matter of the preparation of tender, procurement, supply and installation of the pre-fabricated shelters for SFF troops during the period 2009-13 which were purchased from the said company.” The CBI had registered the case under IPC sections related to cheating and forgery among others and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. The case had gone to the CBI after a referal from the Prime Minister’s office.