Jharkhand illegal mining worth over 1000 cr, ED reveals in chargesheet

Updated on Sep 21, 2022 05:17 PM IST

The agency said that during investigation, searches were conducted at 47 locations throughout India on several dates resulting into the seizure of cash amounting to ₹5.34cr, among others

All three accused in the case are presently in judicial custody. (File image)
All three accused in the case are presently in judicial custody. (File image)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday alleged in its chargesheet that the proceeds of crime in the Jharkhand illegal mining case it is probing is to the tune of over 1000crore.

Chief minister Hemant Soren’s aide and JMM leader Pankaj Mishra along with his associates including Prem Prakash, from whose residence two AK 47 rifles of Jharkhand police, was recovered, were named as prime accused in the chargesheet.

Reacting to the development, JMM spokesperson Manoj Pandey said, “This is a sub judice matter so it won’t be right to comment on the legal aspects of it. We have full faith in judiciary. However, people of the state are convinced that this entire exercise is to malign the image of our popular chief minister Hemant Soren.”

ED filed the chargesheet under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

“The Directorate of Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a Prosecution Complaint (chargesheet) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 before the Special Court under PMLA at Ranchi against Pankaj Mishra, Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash. The Court was pleased to take the cognizance of the same on September 20,” the federal agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

“ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered by Barharwa Police Station, Sahebganj district, Jharkhand under various sections of IPC, 1860, against Pankaj Mishra & others. Later on, several FIRs regarding illegal mining lodged under IPC, Explosive substances Act, Arms Act have also been taken into the ambit of scheduled offence. Till date, ED has identified POC (proceeds of crime) relating to illegal mining to the tune of more than 1000crore in this case,” ED statement said.

The federal agency has pinned the blame on Mishra for allegedly controlling the illegal mining business in the area.

“PMLA Investigation revealed that Pankaj Mishra, who enjoys political clout, being the representative of the Chief Minister, MLA from Barhait, Sahebganj, Jharkhand controls the illegal mining businesses as well as inland ferry services in Sahebganj and its adjoining areas through his accomplices. He exercises considerable control over the mining of stone chips and boulders as well as installation and operations of several crushers, set up across various mining sites in Sahebganj,” the agency said.

Proceeds of crime amounting to 42crore acquired by the accused Mishra have been identified till date, the ED said, adding that further investigation in the case is in progress.

Also Read:Jharkhand mining secretary, husband received 1.43 crore: ED

The agency further said that during investigation, searches were conducted at 47 locations throughout India on several dates resulting into the seizure of cash amounting to 5.34crore, freezing of bank balances amounting to 13.32crore, freezing of an inland vessel MV Infralink -III, five stone crushers, two Hyva trucks besides the seizure of incriminating documents along with two AK 47 assault rifles.

Earlier, the ED had arrested three prime accused in the case this year including Mishra on July 19, Bachhu Yadav on August 4 and Prem Prakash on August 5.

All three accused are presently in judicial custody.

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