The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday raided the premises of Congress leader Baba Siddique and others in connection with their alleged role in the Rs 400 crore Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scam.
Officials said the searches were conducted at about seven locations in the Maharashtra capital, including premises of Siddique, Rafique Maqbul Qureshi and others connected to him.
Siddique, a former minister in Maharashtra government, is known for his links with Bollywood celebrities and got superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan into a much talked about patch-up hug in 2013.
Some front companies allegedly “connected to” the former Bandra MLA were also searched by the ED teams, which swooped down on these premises early morning.
The ED, they said, has registered a criminal case against Siddique and about a dozen others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) recently, based on a local police FIR.
The Bandra police had registered an FIR in 2014, on directions of a local court, to probe alleged financial irregularities in a slum rehabilitation project launched in suburban Bandra, to which Siddique is alleged to have been involved.
Siddique has been the Chairman of the Mumbai board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) between 2000-2004.
A complainant had approached a local court in 2012 stating that the flats allotted in the residential buildings constructed after demolishing the slum in the Bandra area were granted on the basis of alleged fake documents and had other irregularities.
The agency also suspects use of certain ‘front’ or ‘benami’ companies in committing the alleged irregularities and hence the raids are being conducted to gather more evidence, they said.
The ex-minister had denied allegations made against him in this case in the past.
Siddique has been a three-time Congress MLA, Minister of State for food and Civil Supplies (during 2004-08) in the Maharashtra government and has also served as a Municipal Corporator.
His grand Iftaar parties are attended by a host of Bollywood celebrities.
With PTI inputsBack to latest news