PATNA: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday imposed a penalty of Rs 13.62 lakh each on Bihar legislative council’s deputy chairman Salim Parwez and former RJD MP from Siwan, Mohammed Shahabuddin for violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema).
ED officials said a case has been registered against Shahabuddin and Parwez for violation of Section 3A and 4 of Fema for unauthorized dealing in foreign exchange and possessing foreign currency.
Giving details of the case, an ED official said, “A huge amount of foreign currency – including 7,600 US dollars, 10,540 Dirhams of United Arab Emirates and 800 Saudi Arabian Riyals – was seized from the residence of Shahabuddin in Siwan in 2005…. After investigation and the order for imposing penalty on both of them, the seized foreign currency has been confiscated by the ED.”
“In course of investigation, Shahabuddin told police that Salim Parwez had given him the foreign currency. Parwez also admitted the fact. So both of them have been imposed a fine of Rs 13.62 lakh each for FEMA violation,” said the ED official on condition of anonymity.
Contacted over phone, Parwez on Monday told TOI, “I worked in Saudi Arabia for 30 years. The seized money was given to me by Shahabuddin during his visit to Saudi Arabia. He told me to keep the money which was donation for his party from Saudi Arabian people. As he had to go to Dubai and I was coming to India directly, he asked me to carry the money along with me. I just handed him over the money in India and I have no idea about the source of funds.”
Under Fema, anybody arriving in India can carry foreign currency up to $5,000 without informing the customs officials. If anyone carries foreign currency above this limit, he has to inform the customs officials at the time of landing in India. “This way, Salim Parwez has violated FEMA, and hence the penalty,” said the ED official.
Parwez, who is a native of Saran district in Bihar, had left his job in Saudi Arabia and returned to join politics. He is currently an MLC. He unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha election on JD (U) ticket from Saran constituency and was pitted against RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who won the seat.
Mohammad Shahabuddin, on the other hand, in currently in jail having been convicted in an abduction for murder case. Bihar police have listed him as a Type A history sheeter (a hardened criminal with a history of crime). Type A includes criminals who are beyond reform.