ED quizzes Koda's hawala man

Ranchi, Feb. 1: A two-man Enforcement Directorate team began questioning hawala kingpin Anil Adinath Bastawade today on a multi-crore money laundering scam he is said to have helped Madhu Koda pursue.

Joint director Vivek Prasad and assistant director A. K. Sinha took custody of the 48-year-old Bastawade, an aide of the former chief minister, from Birsa Munda Central Jail at Hotwar around 10am.

Bastawade was examined by a jail doctor ' as per court orders ' after which he was handed over to the ED team that took him away to the CBI's anti-corruption bureau office at Kali Babu Street for interrogation.

Though details of the interrogation weren't revealed, sources in the ED said the Pune-based hawala operator told officials he was not in the "correct frame of mind" to say anything as of now.

Yesterday, a special court of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Ranchi (PMLA), granted 10-day remand of Bastawade to ED.

His interrogation went on till evening and is expected to continue tomorrow.

For ED, Bastawade is a prized catch as it caught up with him in Indonesia where he has been in hiding for over two years since September 30, 2009 when the PMLA Court issued a non-bailable warrant against him and six other Koda aides.

ED believes Bastawade holds the key to crores of rupees that were siphoned off from Jharkhand between 2006 and 2008 in connivance with other aides of the former chief minister.

Among them, Binod Sinha, his brother Vikas Sinha, MD of Indo Asahi Glass Factory (Ramgarh) Bijay Joshi, hawala operators Manoj Kumar Punamiya and Arvind Vyas have already been arrested and are lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Jail at Ranchi.

But Sanjay Chaudhuri, another key figure, is yet to be extradited from the UAE where he was arrested on November 9, 2011 after a red corner notice was issued against him.

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