Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused in a long-running money-laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate, died in Hyderabad, his lawyer said on Friday, according to PTI.
Khan died on Thursday night and his body was taken to Pune on Friday morning, his lawyer Prashant Patil said. He was 71 years old.
The businessman was in Hyderabad to visit his parents’ grave, Patil said, according to The Indian Express.
In his initial days, Khan had tried his hand in several businesses including a car rental service and a scrap trading company. Media reports frequently referred to him as the owner of stud farms, or farms where horses are bred. However, there were conflicting claims on whether he owned such establishments.
In 2007, the Income Tax Department carried out searches at his homes in Mumbai and Pune in connection with his alleged dealings with a Switzerland-based hotelier named Philip Anandraj. The department had said that it found a letter in Anandraj’s laptop that purportedly mentioned an account in Khan’s name with the United Bank of Switzerland that had deposits worth $8 billion, or about Rs 36,000 crore.
However, Swiss authorities, after subsequent investigations, said that the letter was fake.
The Income Tax department assessed Khan’s income from 2001-’02 to 2007-’08 to be Rs 1.1 lakh crore, on the basis of which the Enforcement Directorate launched an investigation in 2011.
The Enforcement Directorate arrested Khan on March 7, 2011 and the businessman spent four years and eight months in jail. He got bail in August 2015 and had been living in Pune since then.
In 2016, the Central Bureau of Investigation also filed a case against Khan and unidentified government officials on charges of criminal conspiracy and corruption.
In 2022, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court framed charges against the businessman. However, the trial was yet to begin.
After his death, his lawyer Prashant Patil said on Friday said that the case was an example of how central investigative agencies could ruin an innocent man’s life, PTI reported. The lawyer added that would request the court to continue with the trial so that Khan gets justice.