ED seizes Rs 11.88 Cr in Jharkhand illegal mining case

Newsroom24x7 Network

Marikutti (Sahibganj), Jharkhand. Photo taken on 11 July 2022

New Delhi: Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has seized cash amounting to Rs. 11.88 Crore lying in 37 bank accounts belonging to Pankaj Mishra, considered very close to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, besides Dahoo Yadav and their associates under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in the illegal mining case.

Earlier, ED had conducted searches at 19 locations in Sahibganj, Barhet, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki and Barharwa resulting in seizure of various incriminating documents and Rs 5.34 Crore unaccounted cash on 08.07.2022. During this search operation, ED has also seized five stone crushers that were being illegally operated from the Site and also five illegal firearm cartridges.

The evidences collected during the course of investigation including statements of various persons, digital evidences and documents revealed that the seized cash/bank balance is derived from illegal mining being rampantly done in Sahibganj area including the forest area. A trail of
further Rs. 100 Crore of Proceeds of crime generated from illegal mining has also been unearthed and being worked upon.

Earlier in the month of May, 2022, searches at 36 locations connected with the MNREGA Scam were conducted under PMLA resulting in seizure of Rs 19.76 Crore in cash. The searched premises included premises of Pooja Singhal, IAS, and her associates. In this case also, evidences collected during the course of investigation including those collected during the searches and statements of various persons revealed that the major chunk of the seized cash was derived from illegal mining and was belonging to senior beaureucrats and politicians. Pooja Singhal and Suman Kumar, CA were arrested in this case and are presently in judicial custody. A
prosecution complaint has been filed in this case.

In total, cash and bank balance of Rs 36.58 Crore, illegally generated from Mining and other activities has been seized by ED.

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