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Agrasain Gehlot knowingly became part of smuggling syndicate

IANS | July 24, 2020 05:25 PM

NEW DELHI:Even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took over the probe into the fertilizer scam, a report by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has charged Agrasain Gehlot, elder brother of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, of "knowingly" becoming part of a "smuggling syndicate" by supplying it subsidised Muriate of Potash (MOP).

The investigation report accessed by IANS, was prepared in September 2013 after several rounds of questioning of Agrasain by the DRI and Customs officials.

According to the documents, the DRI had summoned Agrasain Gehlot, the proprietor of Anupam krishi, on a number of occasions in 2013 and his statement was also recorded.

The DRI in its investigation report mentioned that "Gehlot, proprietor of Anupam Krishi knowingly opted to become a part of the syndicate in the chain of conspiracy by facilitating the said consortium by supplying subsidised MOP, which was meant for sale to farmers only and forged documents for which he admittedly got a certain amount of money as his commission."

The report alleged that Gehlot's role was very important because without his connivance the consortium would not have been able to procure the MOP.

The DRI said that Anupam Krishi was a dealer of Indian Potash Limited (IPL) and in the capacity of an authorised dealer of the company made an agreement with the supplier company i.e IPL. "In the agreement one of the conditions was to supply various fertilizers and other products for fertilization of soil and increasing productivity of crops and diversion of this material for any other purpose was an offence under the Fertilizer (Control) Order, 1985 and punishable under the Customs Act."

The DRI further alleged that Gehlot violated the said condition and facilitated the syndicate.

Gehlot was an authorised dealer for IPL and between 2007-09, his company bought MOP at subsidised rates and instead of distributing to farmers sold it to a few other companies, who in turn exported it to Malaysia and Singapore in the guise of industrial salt.

Earlier this week, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at over 13 locations across the country including the residential and official premises of Gehlot in Rajasthan after it registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The DRI in its investigation report in 2013 also claimed that when Gehlot was shown the documentary evidence then he accepted that he received some amount in cash.

"Gehlot became a syndicate member in the entire chain of conspiracy by facilitating the said consortium by supplying the subsidised MOP, he manipulated the sales documents of his firm by showing sales of the diverted quantity of MOP in the name of the farmers for which he reportedly gained certain amount as his profit or commission, " the DRI alleged.

Reportedly, the accused received kickbacks while fraudulently exporting potash, meant for farmers, through his firm Anupam Krishi to Saraf Impex Private Limited.

The ED actions come at a time when the Congress-led-Rajasthan government is facing a crisis in the wake of the rebellion by Sachin Pilot who was the Deputy Chief Minister and the Rajasthan Congress chief. He was sacked from all the posts on July 14.

The ED is also probing Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav's business partner, Ratan Kant Sharma, in the Yes Bank case. Last Monday, the ED had carried out raids at Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur, where Congress MLAs are staying.

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