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Enforcement Directorate temporarily seals National Herald office

The Enforcement Directorate seals the National Herald office, instructing that the premises not be opened without prior permission from the agency.

Enforcement Directorate seals National Herald office
New Delhi, First Published Aug 3, 2022, 5:31 PM IST

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday temporarily sealed the National Herald office in New Delhi, instructing that the premises not be opened without prior permission from the agency. The Enforcement Directorate action came a day after the agency carried out raids at several locations and offices of National Herald in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow.

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The central agency has been probing chanrges of money laundering in the National Herald case. The agency has already recorded statement of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi in connection with the case. The Congress president was questioned for over 11 hours last month. The agency questioned Rahul for five days, clocking over 50 hours in June. 

Officials said that a temporary seal had been placed to "preserve the evidence" which could not be collected during the Tuesday raids as authorised representatives were not present. 

According to ED officials, Tuesday's raids were carried out against those entities that were involved in the National Herald-linked transactions. The raids, carried out under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), were aimed at gathering additional evidence with regard to the trail of funds.

The National Herald is published by the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL). Its holding company is Young Indian. 

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are the majority shareholders in Young Indian, both having a 38 per cent shareholding. The Gandhis and others have been accused by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy of obtaining the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Limited owed to the Congress with Young Indian paying only Rs 50 lakh

The Congress has denied any wrongdoing. The party and its leaders claim that there can be no question of money laundering as Young Indian is a 'not-for-profit' company created under section 25 of the Companies Act. Rahul reportedly told ED oifficials during his deposition that there was no personal acquisition of assets by himself or his family.

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