6 Nov : A close aide of former Jharkhand chief Minister Madhu Koda became the first person to be arrested on Friday in the Rs.2,000 crore illegal assets case as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) prepared to arrest Koda who is likely to be discharged from hospital on Saturday.
Vikas Sinha, brother of Binod Sinha who is believed to be the right-hand man of Koda, was produced before Special Judge Pankaj Kumar who remanded him to 14-day judicial custody.Vikas is allegedly involved in investing and routing Koda’s money through hawala channels.
A spokesman of the Abdur Razzak Weavers’ Memorial Hospital where Koda got himself admitted on Tuesday complaning of high blood pressure and stomach ache, said his condition was stable.”Vikas is being questioned in connection with the alleged hawala and illegal investments,” Deputy Director, ED Prabha Kant, told newsmen.
Koda’s personal assistant Harendra and some others were also being questioned, a senior IT official said.Sinha, who was arrested when he appeared before the ED, is the first associate of Koda to be taken into custody by the Directorate.
He was among the eight people who were summoned for questioning in the multi-crore scam.38-year-old Koda faces charges of having amassed over Rs.2,000 crores through hawala and illegal investments.After week-long raids on 70 places in nine cities across the country including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, IT officials had on Wednesday sealed a room and almirahs at Koda’s residence in Ranchi.
The ED and IT officials were, however, awaiting the appearance of Binod Kumar Sinha and another businessman Sanjay Choudhary, who were summoned by the IT to present themselves by 11:00 am on Friday to explain certain transactions.
The IT had on 2nd November served notices on them to appear before the Additional Director of Income Tax (Investigation) in connection with the continuing searches and seizure operations that began on Saturday.Vikas alleged that the ED officials had “forced” him to sign on a document without telling him on what ground he has been arrested.
Asked about the scam which, according to some estimates, is over Rs.4,000 crores, he told reporters outside the court, “it is all a rumour. I have my own business. I have been framed. I will definitely appeal against the court’s decision”.
About his links with Koda, Vikas said,” he (Koda) is from our constituency. We know him as an MP. Earlier, he was the Chief Minister and MLA. We are in business and we meet sometimes. We don’t get any favour from Koda”.
On the whereabouts of his brother, Vikas said, ” I have no idea. From 31st October, they have snapped all my connections. They have taken my mobile and haven’t returned it.”Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate issued an alert to airports across the country to prevent Binod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary from fleeing the country.