Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ex-CM Madhu Koda's arrest anytime soon

Ranchi: Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda will be arrested the moment he is discharged from a hospital in Ranchi, the officer probing the politician’s alleged involvement in a Rs 4,000-crore scam has told CNN-IBN.

The Enforcement Directorate’s Chief Investigator told CNN-IBN investigators had enough evidence against Koda, who was admitted in Ranchi’s Apollo Hospital on Tuesday after he complained of a stomachache, vomiting and high blood pressure.

The ED has asked the hospital too keep it informed about Koda’s health and not to discharge him without telling them.

CNN-IBN has also learnt that during the four days of continuous interrogation, Koda allegedly admitted to stashing away Rs 375 crore in Swiss banks.

Koda’s residence in Ranchi was sealed on Wednesday amid allegations that he had amassed illegal assets worth Rs 4,000 crore.

CNN-IBN Investigation: Koda's Rs 4,000-cr empire

Madu Koda, from labourer to Chief Minister

Income Tax (IT) officials allegedly seized four money-counting machines, investment documents, cash, jewellery, a laptop and computer hard disk from his Ranchi residence on Wednesday.

According to sources, the IT department has traced a person who allegedly helped get hundreds of crores of rupees belonging to Koda deposited in a Swiss bank. The name and identity of the person has been withheld in the interest of the investigation.

During interrogation, Koda, now an MP, is learnt to have admitted to making unpublicised trips to foreign countries while he was the mines and geology department minister from March 2005 to September 2006, the sources say.

At that time, Arjun Munda was the Chief Minister of Jharkhand. In the past, he too has accused Koda of making foreign visits without informing him.

According to the sources, Koda had visited Liberia, Bangkok and Dubai without informing Munda. As per protocol, a minister should inform the chief minister if he makes any foreign visit.

On October 9, the ED lodged a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Koda and three former ministers as well as his associates Vinod Kumar Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary.

(With inputs from CNN-IBN and IANS)