The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized around Rs 37 lakh in cash along with digital devices and other incriminating documents in the raids conducted at as many as 12 locations across four States, informed the agency on Thursday, January 04.
The raids were conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at as many as a dozen locations in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and Rajasthan. The premises include the residence of Abhishek Prasad “Pintu” (Press advisor of Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Hemant Soren, said the agency in a press note released late Thursday evening.
Further, the sleuths of the agency also conducted search operations at premises linked to Sahibganj Deputy Collector, Ramnivas Yadav and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Sahibganj, Rajendra Dubey in connection with to a case of illegal stone mining.
During the search operations, the officials of the agency seized various incriminating documents and records, digital devices, and cash amounting to Rs 36.99 lakhs including Rs 7.25 lakhs from the camp office of Ram Nivas Yadav, DC of Sahibganj, read the press note further.
Opposition hails the raids
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Pratul Sahdeo, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that a large racket of money laundering was being operated in the state under the regime of the incumbent government, and the search operation conducted by ED has made it clear that the way a coalition of leaders, mafias and government officials were involved in looting Jharkhand, similar operations should go on against them.
The BJP spokesperson further claimed that details of as many as 30 unnamed accounts surfaced during the raids, while a cache of arms and ammunitions were also seized.
It is to be noted that the ED is probing the matter after details related to alleged illegal stone mining in the Nimbu Pahadi area of Sahibaganj surfaced in 2022, following which the agency arrested three prime accused in the matter, including Pankaj Mishra, an MLA representative of Chief Minister Hemant Soren. During the investigation, the ED claimed that it had identified the ‘proceed of crime’ pertaining to the case worth around Rs 1000 crores.