The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi and others, officials said this morning.
The businessman was earlier called as a witness in this money laundering case but with the latest development, he has turned an accused.
Officials said Sana Satish Babu was arrested from New Delhi late on Friday night under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sana Babu was grilled for a few hours and was taken into custody as he was "not cooperating" in the probe, they said.
His links with Moin Qureshi, including certain financial transactions, are considered to be dubious by the agency and hence it now wants to question him under custody.
He is involved in the bribery case and had made payments to Mr Qureshi which are illegitimate, sources alleged.
The central probe agency is expected to produce Mr Babu before a special court in New Delhi today for seeking further custody.
It was Mr Babu, on whose complaint the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a criminal FIR on charges of corruption against its former special director Rakesh Asthana during last year's infamous spat between the number one man in the agency -- the then CBI director Alok Verma -- and the number two, Rakesh Asthana.
In his statement to the CBI, Sana Babu had said he paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to Mr Asthana to be spared any action in the investigation linked to Moin Qureshi. The money was paid over a 10-month period -- starting from December 2017.
Mr Babu was being investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI, headed by Mr Asthana, when he had accused him for accepting bribes.
Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by Mr Babu, the CBI had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Mr Asthana and others, including a few agency officials. Later, Rakesh Asthana had accused the then CBI Director Alok Verma of being corrupt and filed a complaint against him with counter allegations of shielding Sana Babu and not allowing the SIT to go against him.
Government sources had then said that Mr Asthana, in an exhaustive letter to the Cabinet Secretary on August 24 last year, had given a list of 10 instances of alleged corruption by Mr Verma in which it was alleged that Sana Babu paid the CBI chief Rs 2 crore to get clean chit in the case.
Both Mr Asthana and Mr Verma had refuted the allegations.
The ED had registered a criminal case under the anti-money laundering law against Moin Qureshi in 2017 for alleged corruption in connivance with government officials.
It had also arrested Mr Qureshi as part of the probe and attached his assets.
Former CBI director A P Singh is also being probed in this case by the ED.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)