ED seizes properties worth Rs 153.31 cr of Baghel’s Deputy Secy, others

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that they have attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 152.31 crore belonging to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s Deputy Secretary, Saumya Chaurasia, and others in connection with a money maundering case.

The properties include cash, jewellery, flats, coal washeries and plots of land located in Chhattisgarh.

“Agriculture lands admeasuring 63.38 acre in Hirri, Potiya and Sevati, Durg; agriculture lands admeasuring 10 acre in Rasni & Arang, Raipur; commercial land admeasuring 12 acre in Thakuraintola, Durg have been attached,” said the ED official.

The ED in September had arrested Chhatisgarh-based IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi, Sunil Agarwal of Indramani Group and one Laxmikant Tiwari. In October, absconding accused Suryakant Tiwari surrendered before a court and was arrested.

IAS officer Ranu Sahu was reportedly missing but she wrote a letter to ED in October and told the officials that she was on medical leave. Later ED had conducted search operations at her mother’s house in the third week of October.

Bishnoi was questioned by the ED officials regarding the alleged commission money he allegedly used to take in connection with coal mining.

ED also raided locations in Chhattisgarh for two consecutive days and had recovered around Rs 4 crore.

The Income Tax had earlier written a letter to the Chhattisgarh government in which it was alleged that a few officials very close to the Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel were involved in getting commission/bribe from coal and other businessmen. However, no action was taken by the state government in this regard.

According to the information, IAS officers J.P. Maurya, Ranu Sahu’s premises were among those whose houses were raided by the federal anti-money laundering agency.

The ED team also searched the premises of three IPS officials.

Earlier when the searches were conducted, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had termed it ‘political raids’.

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