Director Puri Jagannath appears before ED

Wed 01 Sep 2021, 11:16:55
Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled popular Telugu film director Puri Jagannath for over 10 hours on Tuesday in connection with the money laundering investigation allegedly linked to the drug racket busted in 2017.

Responding to summons issued to him a few days ago by the ED, the director appeared before it at its office in Basheerbagh around 10.15 am, accompanied by his son, brother and accountant. Though a battery of media persons posed questions to him when he arrived, Jagannath did not respond and silently walked into the premises.

He remained silent when he came out of the ED office around 8.30 pm after completing the gruelling questioning. With the help of a detailed questionnaire, the ED officials, it is learnt, questioned Jagannath about his business and other transactions apart from any alleged links with drug peddlers.

Since the ED had already collected his bank accounts statements and audit reports, the authorities tried to find out the money trail. They are believed to have asked Jagannath about the 2017 drugs case in which he appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Prohibition and Excise Department. 

The ED officials also grilled him with the help of statements of those who were arrested in the 2017 case. The director was asked to leave asking him to appear again whenever the ED summons him.

Based on the Case Occurrence Report (COR), the ED is carrying out the probe. In 2017 also, Jagannath, who directed several blockbuster Telugu movies including Pokiri and iSmart Shankar, spent over 10 hours at the SIT office at the excise department head office in Nampally.

The excise department has already filed separate charge-sheets in the drugs case. Jagannath was the first person out of 12 film personalities who got summons from the ED a few days ago for questioning them from August 31 to September 22.

Film actress Charmee Kaur will appear before the ED on September 2.

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