Tibetan monk under ED lens



New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate has seized properties worth Rs 1.68 crore acquired by a Tibetan monk here allegedly in contravention of money laundering laws, and launched a probe against him.

ED sources said three properties with recorded purchase value of Rs 1.68 crore in the national capital have been attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which were acquired by Karma Lobsang Bhutia, also known as 10th Bo Gankar Rinpoche of Karma Kagyu sect.

The current market value of these properties could be much higher, they said.

The ED's Delhi Zonal unit is investigating a case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and PMLA involving alleged fraudulent financial activities by the monk.

Himachal Pradesh Police had arrested the monk earlier, and incriminating material were recovered and seized from his premises at Joginder Nagar in Mandi district, they said.

Bhutia, who is in mid-30s, during 2009 was arrested by Delhi Police, for having a Nepalese passport in addition to a valid Indian passport, the sources said. He is facing a trial in the case.

ED officials so far has found that the religious leader has been allegedly operating a number of accounts in the names of his various disciples and also purchased properties in Delhi, in his own name as also in the name of his disciples, they said.

He was also allegedly found to be utilising funds amassed by him from his foreign disciples after visiting various countries, they claimed.

They said the probe is still in progress for locating and attachment of other such assets of the monk.

PTI