The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started a prevention of money laundering (PMLA) investigation against 31 persons in connection with the January 19 Sundar Nagar, Shimla hooch tragedy in which seven persons died.
According to information, the Shimla police handed over the case files to the ED to start a preliminary inquiry under PMLA in the matter. After receiving the complaint, the ED has now formed a team to scan the properties of the accused. The ED is likely to summon all the accused to join the investigation so that they could record their statements.
Thirty one persons were arrested by the state police in this connection, out of which six were granted bail, whereas 25 accused are still in judicial custody.
Businessmen of Sundar Nagar, Nalagarh, Ram Sahar, Baddi, and Haroli are on the radar of the ED and the state police.
In January this year, the hooch tragedy was reported from Sundar Nagar of Himachal. A number of people had fallen sick after drinking the hooch, seven persons later succumbed during the course of treatment. The Himachal police had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the matter. The Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, Sanjay Kundu was leading the probe. Excise and Income Tax department had also conducted raids in this connection.
During the course of investigation, the police learnt that the accused persons were investing their ill gotten money in real estate.
If the ED finds proof of proceeds of crime they can start attachment proceedings.