ED arrests Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam in money laundering case - Hindustan Times
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ED arrests Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam in money laundering case

May 15, 2024 09:00 PM IST

Alam’s arrest is the second major action by the federal agency this year against political heavyweights in the state. Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31

Ranchi: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Wednesday arrested Jharkhand parliamentary affairs and rural development minister Alamgir Alam on money laundering charges, officials aware of the matter said.

Ranchi office of the Enforcement Directorate (Twitter Photo)
Ranchi office of the Enforcement Directorate (Twitter Photo)

The arrest came eight days after Rs.35.20 crore was recovered from locations related to his Officer on Special Duty Sanjeev Lal and associates on May 6, officials said.

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Alam was called for questioning by the ED on May 14 in connection with the money recovered from Lal. Lal and Alam’s domestic help were arrested by the agency on May 7 after recovering over Rs.35 crore cash during raids. 

“After nine hours of interrogation on Tuesday and six hours of interrogation on Wednesday, the minister was arrested. He will be produced before the special PMLA court on Thursday”, said one of the officials mentioned above, without sharing details of the interrogation.

Alam’s arrest is the second major action by the federal agency this year against political heavyweights in the state. Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31 in connection with an ongoing probe related to an alleged land scam.

Also Read: ED arrests Jharkhand minister’s secretary, domestic help after cash recovery

The ED raids were part of an ongoing investigation into a money laundering case involving Virendra K Ram, the former chief engineer of the state’s rural development department. Ram was arrested last year. The investigation is linked to alleged irregularities in the implementation of certain schemes within the department.

Alam’s arrest is a major jolt for the Congress as the four-term legislator is also the leader of its legislature party in the assembly. 

The Pakur MLA is a political heavyweight in the Santhal Parganas division in Jharkhand, where three Lok Sabha seats are still to go to polls on June 1. The party however had been maintaining distance from Alam ever since the cash seizure on May 6. Alam also did not attend the two rallies held by Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge in the state recently. 

The Congress party however described Alam’s arrest as a result of political vendetta. “After four phases of the election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows they are losing the polls. This is a desperate attempt to disturb the elections by proxy. He (Alam) is a major force in Santhal Parganas where elections are due in the seventh phase. This arrest is sheer vendetta”, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Rakesh Sinha said.

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