The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday confirmed that it carried out search operations at the business and residential premises of Pinjore Royalty Company, Providers Overseas Consultants Pvt Ltd and others at Mohali, Ludhiana, Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Pathankot in connection with an illegal sand mining case.
An ED official said that during the raids, the agency seized incriminating documents pertaining to sand mining, property transactions, cellphones, gold worth over Rs 21 lakh, Rs 10 crore in cash apart from a luxury watch worth Rs 12 lakh.
As per sources, the ED raided the house of Bhupinder Singh Honey, who is the nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, on Tuesday and Wednesday, seizing around Rs 10 crore in cash from his premises.
“The ED has recovered around Rs 10 crore in cash so far. The team has also found few documents which connect Bhupinder Singh Honey with shell companies,” said a source.
The sources in ED have claimed that Bhupinder Singh has alleged connection with the sand mafia in Punjab.
The ED recovered a few documents during the raid on Wednesday, which confirmed that a person named Kudratdeep Singh ran two firms in which Bhupinder Singh was the joint director. The firms are basically shell companies and the ED has seized monetary transaction details in connection with them.
On Tuesday, the ED had seized Rs six crore in cash during the raids. Of this, Rs 4 crore was recovered from the house of Bhupinder Singh, while Rs 2 crore was seized from the house of a person named Sandeep Kumar.
On Wednesday, the ED team continued with the raids though the officials were tight-lipped over the search operations.
The ED case is based on a two-year-old FIR filed by the Punjab Police on March 7, 2018, naming more than 10 accused for their alleged involvement in illegal sand mining.
The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of the FIR, which has been accessed by IANS.
The raids have also led to a political debate in poll-bound Punjab, with some factions accusing Chief Minister of being involved in illegal sand mining after the premises of his nephew was raided. The ruling Congress has, however, accused the BJP-led Centre of using the financial probe agency as a tool to score political points.