Ahmed Patel, Ranjit Sinha under scanner over links with Moin Qureshi
Suspected Hawala dealer and meat exporter Moin Qureshi was directly in touch with Ahmed Patel, the political secretary and a close aide of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The Income Tax (I-T) department, which claimed to possess 500 hours of telephonic transcripts of Moin Qureshi, clearly indicates he was in touch with incumbent CBI director Ranjit Sinha and had met him a few times in Delhi. In these taped conversations it is not very clear as to what Qureshi discussed with Sinha. The duo had been introduced to each other by former CBI director AP Singh. Interestingly, Qureshi also shared an ‘extremely close’ relationship with AP Singh, who is now member of the Union Public Service Commission.
It was Millennium Post which first carried a report in this context on 21 February this year under the headline ‘Did a former CBI director collect money through scam-tainted meat seller?’ The report had revealed that an I-T raid had seized documents exposing the nefarious activities of a meat export firm, AMQ Agro India owned by Moin Qureshi, who possessed disproportionate assets worth hundreds of crores of rupees apart from his known and declared income. Recently, former CBI director AP Singh too had confirmed that he was in touch with Qureshi who was like his ‘personal friend’. Incidentally, even after his role coming under the scanner, AP Singh was still rewarded by the outgoing Manmohan Singh government making him member of UPSC, which allows him to stay in a luxurious bungalow in Lutyens Delhi and preside over selection of Indian civil servants.
Moin Qureshi is suspected to have played the role of a middleman in a number of sensitive CBI cases in settling and transferring hundreds of crores from Dubai accounts to London. According to the surveillance tapes, Qureshi used to have regular interactions with Ahmed Patel as well. Qureshi and Patel interacted on various sensitive matters, in fact the subject of which are to be known in public domain. This unholy relationship and seizure of large number of documents point towards huge amounts of money being siphoned out of the country which need to be further probed, said revenue ministry officials.
The prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, after taking cue from Millennium Post’s report on Qureshi, had demanded serious investigation into the issue. In fact, Modi had promised action in this case during the course of his Lok Sabha poll campaign. The I-T department has prepared a detailed report which will be submitted when the new government takes over, official sources said.
Present CBI director Ranjit Sinha, who has been in touch with Qureshi and has met him on several occasions, has now written a letter to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman RK Tewari asking him to hand over evidence, if any, against any former CBI officials who are alleged to have links with Qureshi who is being probed for suspected tax evasion.