Mumbai: A day after a Mumbai court rapped the enforcement directorate (ED) for
not making a proper case against Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan for his custody on money laundering charges, the ED on Thursday submitted to the court investigation documents, claming they are critical.
Rajeev Awasthi, senior counsel of ED, asked the court not to make these documents public and said, “Please give us time to investigate the matter. We have recorded his statements 18 times before but we did not get assistance from him. Now we need his custodial interrogation and submit status report before the Supreme Court.”
Awasthi said that the investigating agency has ”found large number of links” to establish that Khan was involved in money laundering activities.
I.P Bagadia, Khan’s lawyer, said: “Just because a case is pending in the Supreme Court, custody of my client should not be given to ED. The prosecution should prima facie disclose what offence has been committed by my client”
Principal sessions court judge M.L. Tahilyani said he would go through the documents and give his decision on Friday.
The documents submitted by ED consists of a notarized document of Khan on 29 June 2003 in London – “ a private and confidential letter to Prabhu Guptara, director organizational development at Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre, Switzerland—a subsidiary of UBS —and asked for assistance in clearing up a situation after UBS froze an account belonging to Khan, following a $300 million transfer from Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, labelling it as ‘funds from weapon sales’.”
Khan, however, denied signing the notarized document. “These are not original papers. These are all fabricated documents to fix me. I can challenge everything,” Khan said in the court.
Khan, 53, a real estate consultant and owner of race horses, was arrested on Monday midnight under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after prolonged searches at his premises in Pune and here and sustained interrogation.
He is alleged to have stashed over $8 billion in Swiss Banks besides having links to international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Khan is also facing charges of tax evasion of over Rs40,000 crore.
Taking note of reports of Khan’s alleged links with arms dealers and people associated with terror activities, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday asked the Centre to consider whether he could be booked under the anti-terror law.
The bench had suggested invoking of anti-terror laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code owing to Khan’s alleged links with various arms dealers including Adnan Khashoggi and terror-related activities, impinging national security.