The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against Karnataka minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar and a few others, including Delhi Karnataka Bhavan employee Hanumanthaiah, PTI reported on Tuesday. The agency is expected to summon them soon to record their statements.
The case was registered on the basis of a chargesheet that the Income Tax Department filed against him earlier this year in a special court in Bengaluru for allegedly evading tax and for hawala transactions worth crores of rupees.
According to the Income Tax Department, Shivakumar and his associate SK Sharma used to transport huge amounts of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through illegal channels with help of three other accused. Sharma owns a transport company that runs a fleet of luxury and passenger buses and provides transport services to various concerns and individuals on rental basis.
“As per facts and analysis of evidences, it is clear that accused number 1 [Shivakumar] has set up an extensive network of persons and premises across Delhi and Bengaluru in order to transport and utilise unaccounted cash,” the department had said.
In August, an Economic Offences Court in Bengaluru granted anticipatory bail to the minister, his brother DK Suresh and four other accused, including Sharma, Shivakumar’s business associate Sachin Narayan and Hanumanthaiah.
The Income Tax Department has filed four cases against Shivakumar based on the raids it has conducted since August 2017. Investigators are believed to have recovered more than Rs 300 crore in undisclosed income, and cash and jewellery worth nearly Rs 15 crore. The minister, who has also been accused of destroying evidence, has been given conditional bail in three of those cases.
In May, the Central Bureau of Investigation searched the residences and an office of the minister’s associates accused of illegally exchanging demonetised currency notes.