The Enforcement Directorate, Lucknow, attached properties and bank accounts of jailed former minister Gayatri Prajapati, his family members and their companies worth Rs 36.94 crore. Prajapati held the portfolio of Mining Minister of UP during 2013 to 2016 in the Samajwadi Party government.
A total of 57 bank accounts with Rs 3.50 crore and 60 immovable properties worth Rs 33.45 crore and have been provisionally attached on Wednesday, said an ED official. The total market value of such properties as on today’s date is over Rs 55 crore.
On Thursday, the ED filed its prosecution complaint under section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Prajapati for misappropriation of money by amassing a large number of properties in the names of his family members, benamis and companies controlled through his sons and dummy directors.
ED claimed that Prajapati had concealed information in his affidavits filed during 2012 and 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections.
The agency recorded Prajapati’s statement in August 2019 when he was in judicial custody and undergoing treatment in hospital. After he gave false and misleading statements and also remained evasive on many questions posed by the ED, the agency arrested him for custodial interrogation.
Prajapati could also not explain the source of funds used to acquire the properties in his names and attempted to shift the onus on his Chartered Accountant. His Income tax returns were also found to be manipulated and bogus inflation in his income from rental income was noticed by the ED, stated press release issued by ED.
The residences of Gayatri and his chartered accountant were searched. In addition, the houses of two suspected benamis were also searched, who were revealed to be Gayatri’s driver and an office peon.