ED raided multiple locations across Jharkhand as part of a money-laundering probe into alleged illegal mining in the state.
Ranchi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday landed in Jharkhand and raided severa locations in the state as part of a money-laundering probe into alleged illegal mining in the state, official sources said.
The investigating agency is expected to raid around 17–20 premises in the state during the search operation.
Following the questioning of Pankaj Mishra, a political assistant to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, and Mishra’s accomplice and muscleman, Bachhu Yadav, sources stated, new information came to light that prompted the searches.
Mishra and Yadav were both detained by the ED in this case some time ago.
As part of an investigation into allegations of illicit mining and extortion, the ED raided 19 locations in Sahibganj, Barhet, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki, and Barharwa in Jharkhand on July 8 in connection with a raid on Mishra and his alleged aides.
The searches had taken place after the ED filed a complaint against Mishra and others in March under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), alleging that the former had “illegally seized enormous assets in his favour.”
The ED seized funds totaling Rs 13.32 crore from 50 bank accounts shortly after the raids.
The agency had said that the evidence collected during the course of the investigation, including the statements of various people, digital evidence and documents, revealed that the seized cash or bank balance is derived from illegal mining being done in the Sahibganj area, including the forest area.
It had said it was probing the trail of Rs 100 crore of “proceeds of crime” generated from illegal mining operations in Jharkhand.