ED gets 5-day custody of Panna Lal Mahto in PMLA case

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A Special PMLA court in Ranchi has granted five-day custody of Panna Lal Mahto to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for amassing huge property in Jharkhand, Delhi and other states from the activities related to illegal human trafficking, the agency said on Sunday.

Mahot alias Ganjhu, a resident of Khunti district of Jharkhand, was arrested twice by police in 2006 and 2015, but walked out of the jail on bail. Multiple cases were registered against him in Khunti, Ranchi and Delhi under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for offences of kidnapping, trafficking etc, the ED said.

The accused had networks in Delhi, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. In Delhi, he used to operate an agency in the name of Panna Lal Placement Agency. It is estimated that Mahto trafficked not less than 5,000 people.

Recently, he was lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail, Ranchi and presently continuing judicial custody in a NIA’s case of human trafficking. The ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of FIRs registered by Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), Khunti Police, Jharkhand against Mahto and others for offences of human trafficking.

Money Laundering probe revealed that Panna Lal Mahto has amassed huge property in Jharkhand, Delhi and other States from the activities related to illegal human trafficking. During the investigation conducted under PMLA, various immovable properties in the form of land in Ranchi and Khunti districts have been identified to have been acquired by Mahto out of the proceeds of crime.

“Mahto and his accomplices are also operating various bank accounts having a number of high value transactions, which appear to have been acquired and transacted out of proceeds of crime,” the probe agency added. Further investigation is under progress.

20211212-174222

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