ED demystifies code word in illegal mining, extortion case in Jharkhand

by IANS |

Ranchi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decoded the facts about the modus operandi of an illegal mining and extortion racket in Jharkhand.

For instance, the officers involved in the scam used the code word 'Kilo' for a lakh rupees while transferring the amount to each other.

If an officer sent Rs 10 lakh to another of illegal recovery, then the message was written as '10 Kilo' sent. The officer who would receive the money would also answer the same way - got '10 Kilo.'

The ED shared many such details in its report sent to the state government.

The Directorate will now be indicting District Mining Officers of Sahibganj, Pakur and Dumka including former Mining Secretary, Pooja Singhal based on the information revealed during the probe.

Singhal was arrested by the ED on May 11 in connection with the money laundering case linked to the MGNREGA scam, before which raids were conducted at more than one and a half dozen premises belonging to Singhal and her associates on May 6-7.

Several documents related to investment and money laundering including Rs 19 crore in cash were recovered. The cash was seized from the residence and office of Suman Kumar, a chartered accountant who worked for Singhal.

Based on her phone chats and questioning, the ED in its chargesheet stated that Kumar acted as an agent between the officers and Singhal. The officers sent money to Kumar instead of Singhal.

In its report, the ED also attached a copy of the chargesheets filed against Singhal and other officers.

The report stated that Singhal minted money on a large scale from the illegal mining racket. Based on the evidence attached in this report, the state government will register a case of disproportionate assets against Singhal and other officers.

According to sources in the ED, substantial evidence has been found regarding the role of Sahibganj DMO Vibhuti Kumar, Dumka DMO Krishna Chandra Kisku and Pakur DMO Pradeep Shah in the case.

The ED, during the hearing on the anticipatory bail petition filed by Singhal's husband, Abhishek Jha in the case, said that Jha changed a huge amount of Australian dollars into Indian currency.

Jha deposited the money in his account, but did not specify its source, they added.

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