The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided premises associated with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Afzal Ansari on Thursday in connection with a money laundering investigation involving his brother, gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. According to sources, the raids took place in Delhi, Lucknow, Ghazipur, Ansari’s constituency, and Mau, Ansari’s hometown.
In Delhi, the agency carried out searches at his official residence on Janpath along with CRPF security. The agency had questioned Afzal in the case in May.
The house of BSP MP Afzal Ansari in Lucknow’s Dalibagh area, as well as a building owned by Mukhtar’s associates Hussainganj, were also searched. ED officials also raided the offices of his three business associates in Mau, including a Mau bus operator.
The action is aimed to gather evidence with regard to an ongoing investigation against Mukhtar Ansari and his associates under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Mukhtar, a former BSP leader, was arrested by the ED last year for alleged money laundering in connection with multiple cases filed by UP police regarding land grabbing and illegal businesses run by him and his gang members.
READ| ‘Delhi CM kept in dark’: Manish Sisodia accuses Centre of ‘secretly’ trying to settle Rohingya Muslims in Delhi
The agency has questioned Mukhtar, who is in judicial custody in a Banda jail, his son, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party MLA Abbas Ansari, his brother Afzal, and nephew, SP MLA Shoaib Ansari, in the case.
The Yogi Adityanath government earlier said it had demolished or attached assets associated with Mukhar Ansari worth approximately Rs 250 crore. On charges that he was in their illegal possession, the UP government attached property worth Rs 24 crore as well as large parcels of land in Mau in June last year.