Gomti River Front: ED raids in UP, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana in connection with the money laundering probe

The ED sleuths raided the offices and residence of the accused and their associates involved in the case, said an ED officer who did not want to be named.
The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in March last year after taking cognizance of a CBI FIR(HT File)
The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in March last year after taking cognizance of a CBI FIR(HT File)
Published on Jan 25, 2019 08:38 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Lucknow

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at 10 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana in connection with the money laundering probe into the 1,500-crore Gomti riverfront development project in Lucknow.

The ED sleuths raided the offices and residence of the accused and their associates involved in the case, said an ED officer who did not want to be named. “The raids were conducted on the premises of the six companies involved in the river front development project,” the officer said.

Along with documents, the ED officials seized computers, laptops and other incriminating materials during the raids, he added.

The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in March last year after taking cognizance of a CBI FIR.

After becoming chief minister, Yogi Adityanath had inspected the Gomti riverfront in March, 2017. He expressed displeasure over the mis-utilization of funds as well as delay in the completion of the project. On April 5, 2017 the state government constituted a three-member judicial committee, headed by retired Allahabad high court judge Alok Kumar Singh, to probe the alleged financial irregularities in the project.

The committee, in its report, submitted to the state government on May 16, 2017 had prima facie indicated towards irregularities in the project. The state police on June 19, 2017 registered a case on the basis of the committee report.

In July 2017, the state government recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities “committed with a criminal intent” in the implementation of the Gomti river channelization project and the Gomti riverfront development project by the state irrigation department. The CBI took over the case in November 2017.

Later the CBI filed an FIR against the then chief engineers Gulesh Chandra, S N Sharma and Qazim Ali, then superintendent engineers Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman, Kamaleshwar Singh and Roop Singh Yadav and then executive engineer Surendra Yadav.

The ED officer said Gulesh Chandra, Mangal Yadav, Akhil Raman and Roop Singh Yadav have already retired.

The 1,500-crore project involved construction of a rubber dam to maintain its water level, a stadium, an ampi-theatre for 2,000 people, cycle and jogging tracks, a play area for children and a musical fountain. Official sources said only 60 per cent of the planned work was complete but a much bigger portion of the allotted amount had been spent so far.

Irrigation minister Dharampal Singh had earlier said, “The state government has ordered inquiry into the irregularities in the Gomti riverfront project launched by Samajwadi Party government. The engineers who have embezzled the fund and had given contracts to favourite companies are under the scanner. Probe is continuing and a case has been registered against the corrupt engineers. They will be sent to jail as well.” (With agency input)

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