BJP MP accuses Thackeray of money-laundering

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) Intensifying the ongoing war between the two ruling allies, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP on Thursday accused Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray of money-laundering.

Mumbai Lok Sabha member Kirit Somaiya, a chartered accountant by profession, made the allegation against Thackeray after he declared his assets following the charges levelled against him by the Shiv Sena.

“Now Uddhav Thackeray should also do it,” Somaiya said in a statement.

He said he had declared all his accounts and financial transactions for the past 20 years.

“I myself declare and confirm that I have never (been) involved in any non-transparent transaction shell/bogus/khokha company. Let Uddhav Thackeray declare all his financial transactions before the public,” Somaiya said.

Additionally, he named seven companies, which he claimed indulged in money-laundering, and asked the Shiv Sena to clarify if they had entered into any financial transactions with these firms.

“Why Uddhav Thackeray is not disclosing his assets? Is he afraid of connection with the 7 shell companies involved in money-laundering,” Somaiya asked.

The companies he named are: Jagmandri Finvest Pvt Ltd, Kim Electronic Industries Ltd., JPK Trading India Pvt Ltd., Lexus Infotech Ltd., Regalgold Trading Company Pvt. Ltd., Vanguard Jewels Ltd., and Yash-V-Jewels Ltd.

Somaiya claimed that while the SEBI had issued prohibitory orders on Lexus Infotech Ltd. and Yash-V-Jewels Ltd., Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal had allegedly used two other companies “Regalgold Trading and Vanguard Jewels – for money-laundering purposes”.

Arrested nearly a year ago, Bhujbal is currently under the custody of the Enforcement Directorate on charges of alleged money-laundering.

Reacting to the allegations, Shiv Sena Sena MP Rahul Shewale dismissed the charges and said the BJP MP (Somaiya) “is a blackmailer known to make baseless allegations”.

Pointing out that Somaiya had in the past levelled allegations even against his party colleague and Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Shewale said even BJP President Amit Shah should declare his assets.

He asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to order a probe by any agency on the allegations leveled by Somaiya.