In a latest development in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) involving Jharkhand IAS officer Pooja Singhal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Friday that it has seized cash amounting to Rs 11.88 crore lying in 37 bank accounts belonging to Pankaj Mishra, Dahoo Yadav and their associates.
The ED has also seized five stone crushers and five illegal firearm cartridges in connection with the case.
The evidences collected during the course of investigation — including statements of various persons, digital evidences and documents — revealed that the seized cash was derived from illegal mining carried out rampantly in the Sahibganj area.
Earlier, the ED had conducted searches at 19 locations in Sahibganj, Barhet, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki and Barharwa, which resulted in the seizure of various incriminating documents and Rs 5.34 crore unaccounted cash.
A trail of further Rs 100 crore proceeds of crime generated from illegal mining has also been unearthed.
In May, the ED had conducted searches at 36 locations connected to the MNREGA scam, resulting in the seizure of Rs 19.76 crore in cash.
The searched premises included those belonging to Pooja Singhal and her associates. In this case also, evidences collected during the course of investigation, including those collected during the searches and statements of various persons, revealed that the major chunk of the seized cash was derived from illegal mining and belonged to senior beaureucrats and politicians.
Pooja Singhal and chartered accoutant Suman Kumar were arrested in this case and are presently in judicial custody.
A prosecution complaint has been filed in this case. In total, cash and bank balance of Rs 36.58 crore, illegally generated through mining, has been seized by the ED.