New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged illegal sand mining case, has been sent to a 14-day judicial custody on Friday, according to sources.
The development comes ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections on 20 February.
Bhupinder Singh Honey was produced before the Jalandhar court by Enforcement Directorate today after the expiry of his custody in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to illegal mining in Punjab.
Earlier on two occasions, the court had granted ED the custody of Honey. ED sources are saying this time they won`t seek more custody.
Honey was arrested during the intervening night of February 3 and 4 by the ED, which got his custody till February 8. It was later extended till Friday (February 11).
As per sources, During these eight days of questioning the ED confronted him with various documents and recorded his statements. “Honey was evasive and was not cooperating with the probe agency,” the source said.
Harneet Singh Oberoi, the counsel of Honey, was allowed to meet him on alternate days.
A few documents were accessed by the IANS which read that Honey allegedly used to take money from officials in lieu of their choice of transfer and posting.
“Moreover, Bhupinder Singh has explicitly stated in his statement during search, inter-alia, that all cash which was seized from his residential premises at Ludhiana (Rs 4.09 crore), Sandeep Kumar`s premises at Ludhiana (Rs 1.99 crore) and from the Homeland House Premises at Mohali (Rs 3.89 crore) actually belonged to him. He admitted to having generated such proceeds of crime through mining related activities, including clearance of mining files and transfer of officials,” read the ED document accessed by sources.
Sources have claimed that since `Honey was close to Channi, he was using the political connection to earn huge profits`.
According to ED documents, Honey has confessed that it was his Rs ten crore which were recovered by the ED during raids. ED has alleged that he was getting money from illegal mining too.
On January 18, ED conducted raids at ten different locations, including Homeland Heights which is the residence of Honey. The ED continued raiding at different places for two days and recovered incriminating documents. The ED officials had recorded the statement of Kudrat Deep Singh, the business partner of Honey.
The ED official had said that they seized incriminating documents pertaining to illegal sand mining, property transactions, cell phones, gold worth above Rs 21 lakh and a watch worth Rs 12 lakh and cash Rs 10 crore during the raid.
A source said that the documents recovered by them confirmed that Kudrat Deep Singh was running two firms and Bhupinder Singh Honey was the joint director in them.
As per sources, the firms are basically shell companies, but ED found a lot of money transactions. One of the firms is Provider Overseas Consultancy Limited, which was incorporated in 2018 with 33.33 per cent equal shares.
The ED case is on the basis of two-year-old FIR.The Punjab Police had on March 7, 2018, lodged a case against more than ten accused.
The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of this FIR pertaining to illegal sand mining in Punjab in November last year.
Bhupinder Singh Honey was not named in the Punjab Police`s FIR and Kudrat Deep Singh was given a clean chit in the matter.
The ED found that money was being laundered by the accused and the agency started probing the matter.