ED Arrests Businessman Who Accused Rakesh Asthana Of Corruption

Satish Sana Babu, the businessman from Hyderabad who was a prime witness in a corruption case against former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Moin Qureshi case. He has been sent to ED custody for five days by a special court.

Satish Sana’s allegations had triggered a war within the CBI between Director Alok Verma Special Director Asthana. According to Asthana, Sana had allegedly told his team that Alok Verma had taken Rs 2 crore to help him in the Moin Qureshi case. But, Verma filed an FIR against Asthana on the basis of Sana’s statement that Asthana had taken Rs 3 crore to shield him from the Qureshi case.

The Centre divested both Asthana and Verma of all their responsibilities in October 2018, in a midnight raid against the CBI. A select committee which was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Verma as Director while Asthana was transferred.

In the Moin Qureshi case, Sana was earlier a witness, but the ED changed its stance following the findings of a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) probe into the complaints by Asthana and Verma against each other in 2018. The CVC termed Sana as an ‘unreliable witness’ in its report submitted to the Supreme Court.

Sana is accused of allegedly bribing officials through Qureshi for assistance in the Vanpic case. Blackberry Messenger communications were found by officers investigating the Qureshi Case where Sana was seen trying to influence transfers and postings of certain CBI officers. Records also show that Sana allegedly paid Rs 2 crore to Qureshi in November 2012. Phone recordings between them, obtained by the CBI, revealed that their conversation pertained to the bail matter of Hyderabad businessman Sukesh Gupta, who is another CBI accused.

Rs 5.75 crore were paid to Qureshi and Sana was a facilitator of that payment. The money was paid to influence a case on behalf of Hyderabad businessman Pradeep Koneru.

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