The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) announced on Friday that it had filed a Prosecution Complaint on October 4 before the special PMLA Court in Ahmedabad against suspended Gujarat cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kankipati Rajesh and co-accused Rafiq Memon in an alleged money laundering case.
The court has taken cognizance of the Prosecution Complaint on the same day of filing, it said in a statement.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by CBI against Kankipati Rajesh & Others under various sections of IPC, Section 43 r/w 66 of IT act, 2000 and Section 7 of PC Act, 1988,” it said.
In place of doing his official duties, Rajesh allegedly used to demand and accept illicit gratifications from the general people, according to the ED. It was claimed that by doing this, he produced criminal proceeds and then used some of them to buy immovable property.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002’s provisions led to Rajesh’s arrest by the ED on August 6. Rajesh was remanded in custody until August 8 per the special PMLA court’s Ahmedabad judgement. He is currently in judicial custody.
In accordance with the terms of the PMLA, 2002, the ED has also frozen the accused’s bank accounts and fixed deposits, totaling 1.55 crore rupees, as well as two movable properties located in Surat.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier detained the suspects in connection with an alleged instance of bribery. Later, as instructed by the special PMLA court in Ahmedabad on August 5, they were sent to the ED.
Rajesh was charged by the CBI in July with accepting bribes to provide weapons licences to ineligible individuals, allocate government land to unqualified beneficiaries, and provide other illicit favours while serving as the collector of Surendranagar.
The 2011 batch IAS officer from the Gujarat cadre was arrested by the CBI in July while working as joint secretary for the Gujarat government’s General Administration Department (GAD).
Rafiq Memon, a middleman from Surat who was allegedly collecting bribes on his behalf, was arrested by the CBI in May.
The allegations of corruption against Rajesh first came to light in January 2021 when an Ahmedabad-based businessman complained to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that Rajesh, who was then the Surendranagar district collector, had demanded a bribe from him in exchange for a licence to possess weapons.
Rajesh was promptly shifted as the joint secretary, law and order, in the state home department after the corruption allegations were made against him, and within a week, he was posted to the GAD in June 2021.