Is Hasan Ali’s money the proceeds of crime, asks court

August 1st, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 1 (IANS) Reserving its order on the bail application of alleged money launderer and tax evader Hasan Ali Khan, the Bombay High Court Monday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should establish that the money deposited by the accused in foreign banks are “proceeds” of crime.

“The court has reserved its order on the bail petition filed by Mr Khan and has asked the ED, that is probing the alleged money laundering scam, to establish whether the money in foreign banks are proceeds of crime,” Khan’s lawyer I.P. Bagaria told IANS.

The court remarked that the investigating agencies should first find out the source of the money.

Bagaria, however, claimed that Khan has no links with arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and also that he has no accounts in any of the foreign banks.

“He (Khan) has amassed huge sum of money in foreign banks that has been prima facie established. But are these proceeds of crime? That needs to be established by the investigating agency. There cannot be a presumption on this,” Justice A.M. Thipsay observed while hearing Khan’s bail plea.

Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambatta, who appeared on behalf of the ED, said that “highly influential” people are behind Khan and they need to be probed too.

Khan was taken into custody by the ED on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court.

On March 21, the apex court had ordered his custody to the ED for an additional three days.

Among other things, Khan is suspected to have stashed away around US$ 8 billion in Swiss bank accounts, transferring cash and assets out of the country through dubious means and evading taxes on income with a suspected liability of over Rs.40,000 crore.

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