Family of TN minister Senthil Balaji's brother played pivotal role in layering proceeds of crime: ED

04:07 PM Aug 14, 2023 | PTI |

Expanding its money laundering probe against arrested Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji, the ED on Monday said his brother and two other family members have skipped multiple summonses and alleged that evidence indicates they played ”pivotal roles” in layering and integrating the proceeds of crime in this case.


In a statement, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) termed as ”false” the news reports appearing in local dailies and social media about the detention or arrest of the minister’s brother R V Ashok Kumar from Kochi (Kerala).

”It is clarified that Shri R V Ashok Kumar has neither been detained nor been arrested by the ED,” it said.

The agency made it clear that at least four summonses each had been sent to Ashok, his wife Nirmala and mother-in-law P Lakshmi in the past, but they have not appeared before the ED.

Balaji was arrested by the ED in June for alleged money laundering in a cash-for-jobs scam linked investigation.


The agency added that Ashok Kumar has been summoned on four occasions – 16.06.2023, 21.06.2023, 29.06.2023 and 15.07.2023 – as part of this probe, but he has ”never joined the investigation and has refused to appear before ED in response to the summonses citing frivolous inconsequential excuses”.

In a similar manner, it said, his wife Nirmala and mother-in-law P Lakshmi have also ”not complied” with four individual summonses.

”It is significant to note that evidence indicates that all three individuals have played pivotal roles in layering and integrating the proceeds of crimes,” the ED alleged.

A 2.49-acre land located in Karur, valued at more than Rs 30 crore, ”acquired” by P Laskhsmi, who later ”gifted” it to her daughter Nirmala, was frozen by the ED last week as part of this probe.

The agency also filed a nearly 3,000-page charge sheet against Senthil Balaji last week as a local Chennai court remanded him in judicial custody till August 25. The minister is lodged at the Puzhal central jail in Chennai.

Balaji continues to be a minister without portfolio in Chief Minister M K Stalin-led Tamil Nadu government after he was arrested by the ED on June 14 in connection with the alleged cash-for-jobs scam that occurred when he was the transport minister during the previous AIADMK regime.

The agency had earlier claimed that Balaji ”misused” his office for illegal gratification and ”engineered” a job racket scam in the state transport undertakings during 2014-15 with purported kickbacks paid by candidates through his associates who include his brother R V Ashok Kumar and his personal assistants B Shanmugam and M Karthikeyan.

”This led to jobs being awarded at the expense of deserving candidates”, the ED had alleged.

The ED filed a case of money laundering in September 2021 to probe these allegations and its complaint is based on three Tamil Nadu Police FIRs filed in 2018 and later by some of those who failed to get the promised jobs.


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