Congress leader Baba Siddique to be interrogated for Rs 500 scam


In June 2017, Siddique was questioned for at least nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs 500 crore SRA scam. After the investigation is done ED will again issue a summon to Siddique for second round of interrogation.

(By a staff reporter) Since last four months, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been collating all the required evidence against Congress leader Baba Siddique and eight other accused in the Rs 500 crore SRA scam. Last week, the final set of documents were handed over to the agency by Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in Mumbai.The investigators have started an in-depth analysis of the documents submitted by SRA, before it could implement its next action-plan.
“Almost for a month the agency was waiting for some crucial documents from SRA. It includes hundreds of ration-cards, agreement copies, etc. from 2004-05 to the present. Now, all these documents are in our hand and our in-depth scrutiny has begun,” as source from the agency told India Today.Once the examination of documents is done, the ED is likely to issue a summon to Siddique again for second round of interrogation. In June 2017, Siddiqui was questioned for at least nine hours.
According to sources, Siddiqui had denied all allegations of financial irregularities, money laundering and allegedly used the ‘religion-card’ before the investigators.
The agency has recorded statements of about 10 individuals including the accused directors of Pyramid Developers and Pioneer India and key officials of Satra Group, alleged partner of Pyramid in super-luxurious residential project located right opposite Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. Each apartment in this project is priced at around Rs 25 crore.
In May 2017, the ED had filed an Enforcement Case Investigation Report (ECIR) against Siddique along with eight others (total 9) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), suspecting foul play in a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project, worth Rs 500 crore. Subsequently, searches were conducted at seven locations in Mumbai.
The agency is investigating if the three-times MLA from Bandra region had misused his position as the chairman of MHADA to violate the FSI rules and help Pyramid Developers to bag this residential project from Satra Group.
ED suspects, Pyramid and Pioneer are two front companies floated by Siddique and the money created by sale of flats in Bandra project was laundered to create his assets.
Investigation details shared with India Today reveals some shocking information. For instance, the entire plot of Jamaat-e-Jamoori slum at Bandra Reclamation, which got converted into a SRA colony, was developed at the cost of Rs 90 crore.
The construction cost of converting that slum into a SRA colony was managed and financed by Pyramid Developers. But Pyramid was getting funding by another layer of company named Pioneer (India) Developers Pvt Ltd.
Seized documents has revealed that at the time of development of these SRA buildings in year 2003, both companies were not having funds more than Rs 10-15 crore in its bank accounts. “So the question arise, where the money was coming from and who was funding Pioneer Developer?” the source said.
On June 1, 2017, was first to report that the agency is probing a money trail of almost Rs 2000 crore in this case, generated by the sale of flats and contractual agreements signed between Pyramid and Satra group. In addition to Siddique’s benami properties, his underworld links is also under ED’s scanner.
The agency claims that it has enough documents in hand that proves crucial role played by Baba Siddique when he was the chairman of MHADA in year 2002.