The Enforcement Directorate has questioned and recorded the statement of Alankar Sawai, a close aide of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a money laundering case in which TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale was recently arrested by the agency in Gujarat, officials said.
Sawai was questioned and also confronted with Gokhale in Ahmedabad over three days earlier this week, they said.
A former banker, Sawai is considered to be a close aide of Gandhi, a former Congress president, and is stated to be heading his research team.
The federal probe agency summoned Sawai after it arrested 35-year-old Gokhale on January 25 while he was in the Gujarat Police’s custody in connection with alleged financial irregularities in raising funds through a crowd funding platform.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), while seeking Gokhale’s remand on that day, had informed a Ahmedabad court that when he was asked about Rs 23.54 lakh deposited in his bank account in cash over a year, Gokhale had told the agency that “this amount was given in cash by Alankar Sawai of the India National Congress for social media work and other consultancy”.
On being asked as to why Sawai had paid him in cash, Gokhale stated that only Sawai can answer this question, the ED told the court in its remand paper.
“Further, on being asked regarding any written agreement with Alankar Sawai in respect of social media work he stated that it was only verbal agreement with Alankar Sawai,” the agency said.
The ED alleged that these cash deposits were recieved by Gokhale when he was a member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
With inputs from News18