CM Soren will appear before ED today for investigation in a money laundering case

In a show of solidarity, lawmakers from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in Jharkhand met Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday, a day before he was to appear before the Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate for questioning. in an ongoing money laundering case related to alleged illegal activities. mining in the state.

Soren, 47, is due to appear before the investigative agency on Thursday. He had asked the federal investigative agency to advance the date of appearance to November 16, which ED did not agree to.

The Chief Minister was requested to report to the ED regional office in the state capital, Ranchi, for questioning and recording of his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act ( PMLA).

The JMM chief was initially summoned by the federal investigative agency on Nov. 3, but he did not testify citing formal undertakings. He then asked for a three-week reprieve from the summons.

Speaking to a “Milan Samaroh” at his official residence on Wednesday, Soren criticized the BJP for summoning the federal agency but did not name him. “By crook, they want to drive me out of power. I will foil their plot,” he said.

“We got a separate state (in 2000) after a long battle. But for about 20 years it remained in the hands of those (BJP) who never thought of benefiting the state and have nothing to do with Jal-Jungal-Jamin (land) and tribes .

“Whole state development is only possible when rural and tribal development is given priority,” the chief minister added.

Soren also said the time has come when ‘Moolvasis’ and ‘Adivasis’ should be united under one roof.

What we know about the case so far

▶️The agency arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others – local muscleman Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash – in the case.

▶️ED said it has “identified” proceeds of crime related to illegal mining in the state to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore so far.

▶️After the first summons, Soren had challenged the agency to arrest him. “The ED summoned me following a conspiracy. Come and arrest me if I’ve committed a crime instead of sending out summonses for questioning… I’m not afraid or worried. On the contrary, I come out stronger. If the people of Jharkhand want it, the opponents will not find a place to hide,” he said.

▶️The ED investigation began after the agency raided Mishra and his alleged associates on July 8, covering 19 locations in Sahibganj, Barhait, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki and Barharwa in Jharkhand in the case linked to alleged cases of illegal mining and extortion.

▶️According to ED, the The PMLA investigation revealed that Mishra, “who enjoys political clout, being the representative of the Chief Minister, MLA of Barhait, Sahibganj, Jharkhand controls illegal mining businesses as well as domestic ferry services in Sahibganj and its adjacent areas through its accomplices”.

▶️“He exercises considerable control over the extraction of stone chips and boulders as well as the installation and operation of several crushers, installed at various mining sites in Sahibganj,” the ED had alleged after filing a deed. of indictment in the case before a special court in Ranchi.

▶️In the indictment, the ED said they recovered “a sealed envelope containing a passbook and two check books containing two signed checks, all relating to A/c… in the name of Shri Hemant Soren held from Bank of India, Sahibganj”.

▶️Other items seized by ED include “a yellow-colored folder marked from April 2019 to June 2022 containing all bank details of Hemant Soren” and his family members, the agency said in the deed. of accusation.

▶️Forty-seven search operations were carried out and cash worth Rs 5.34 crore was seized, bank balances worth Rs 13.32 crore were frozen, an inland waterway vessel of worth Rs 30 crore has been seized except for five rock crushers, two trucks and two AK 47 assault rifles (these weapons were later claimed by Jharkhand police as his own) so far , said the ED.

▶️Some bank documents and checks allegedly bearing the chief minister’s name were also recovered from the raided premises, officials said.

▶️The action was launched after the ED filed a complaint under the PMLA against Mishra and others in March, alleging that the former is “illegally seizing or amassing huge assets in his favor”.

▶️He was aware of a State Police FIR filed against Mishra at Barharwa Police Station in Sahibganj District and other police complaints filed in the instances of illegal mining trade under various Articles of the Weapons Act and the Explosive Substances Act, among others.

▶️A second case where money linked to alleged illegal mining in the state has been uncovered relates to ED’s action against suspended Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pooja Singhal in May.

▶️Besides the 2000 lot IAS agent, her husband, a businessman, a chartered accountant linked to the couple and others were raided by the ED in connection with the money laundering investigation. money linked to an alleged corruption case in the MGNREGA regime.

▶️Singhal, who served as Jharkhand’s mines secretary, was suspended by the state government after her arrest by the ED.

▶️Suman Kumar, a chartered accountant linked to Singhal and her husband, was also arrested by the agency and cash amounting to Rs 19.76 crore was seized by it.

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