CM Hemant Soren’s close aide Pankaj Mishra reaches ED office as inquiry continues in money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate has started questioning Pankaj Mishra, the MLA representative of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in connection with an alleged money laundering case.
On July 8, the ED had conducted searches at 19 locations linked to Pankaj Mishra and his aides in Sahebganj, Berhait, Rajmahal and Mirza Chauki. Since then, ED had summoned him to join the investigation but didn’t turn up twice giving the reason of ill health. He joined the investigation on his third summon today. Prior to him, ED has already grilled two of his close associates Dahoo Yadav and Bachchu Yadav.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed that it had seized cash amounting to Rs 11.88 crore lying in 37 bank accounts belonging to Pankaj Mishra, a close aide of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, and others in the illegal mining case.
The seized amount belongs to Mishra, Dahoo Yadav and their associates. The amount was seized under the Prevention of money-laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
ED had conducted searches at 19 locations in Sahibganj, Barhet, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki and Barharwar in Jharkhand resulting in the seizure of various incriminating documents and Rs 5.34 crore unaccounted cash on July 8.During this search operation, ED said, it also seized five stone crushers that were being illegally operated from the site and also five illegal firearm cartridges.
A trail of further Rs 100 crore of proceeds of crime generated from illegal mining has also been unearthed and being worked upon, said the ED.
Earlier in the month of May, the federal agency said, searches at 36 locations connected with the MNREGA scam were conducted under PMLA resulting in the seizure of Rs 19.76 crore in cash. The searched premises included the premises of Pooja Singhal, IAS, and her associates.