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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Hemant Soren’s media advisor likely to be questioned by ED in money laundering and illegal mining case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to question Abhishek Prasad, the media advisor to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to illegal mining and extortion.

According to sources, the ED may record his statements at Ranchi-based office.

Pankaj Mishra, another close aide of Soren was sent to the ED custody till August 1.

The ED had even recently seized one inland vessel namely M.V. Infralink-III which was allegedly being used Mishra.

The ED had on last Tuesday conducted searches in this connection.

“The said inland vessel was being operated illegally without having any permit from Sukargarh Ghat, Sahebganj. The vessel was being operated at the behest of Rajesh Yadav alias Dahu Yadav in collusion with Pankaj Mishra and others for transporting illegally mined stone chips, stone boulders,” ED official had said.

The estimated cost of the vessel is around Rs 30 crore.

The official said that an FIR was lodged in this respect with Muffasil PS against the owner of the vessel MV INFRALINK-III under Section 25, 30 of Bengal Ferries Act, and sections 188, 282, 420 of IPC.

This was preceded by freezing of two illegally operated stone crushers of Maa Amba Stone Works operated by Bishnu Yadav and Pavitra Yadav along with freezing of three HYVA trucks found at Mauza Majhikola, Sahebganj carrying illegally quarried stone chips, boulders without having any mining challans.

In the similar manner, an FIR in this regard was lodged under Section 379, 414 of IPC at Girwabadi, Sahebganj Police Station.

“Besides, one illegal mine situated at Mauza Simaria, Sahebganj operated by Bishnu Yadav and others has been identified. Another mine has been identified at Mauza Demba, Sahebganj where mining has exceeded far beyond the leased area. The quantification of the excess illegal mining done at the above site has been estimated around 37.5 million cubic feet which has remained undeclared and concealed. The processed value of the mined stone chips estimated to be around Rs 45 crore,” the official had said.

The ED had seized cash amounting to Rs 13.32 crore lying in 50 bank accounts, Rs 5.34 crore unaccounted cash, illegally operated stone crushers and seizure of various incriminating documents belonging to Mishra, Yadav and their associates.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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