Illegal mining case: ED recovers two AK-47 rifles from close aide of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren
The ED searches 16 other homes in Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi-NCR concerning the illegal mining case. According to sources, CM Hemant Soren is also being investigated by the ED.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday recovered two AK-47 rifles from the house of Prem Prakash, an alleged close associate of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, as per reports.
When ED searched Prem Prakash's Jharkhand home in the illegal mining case, they discovered two AK-47s stored in an iron Almirah.
According to sources, concerned authorities will be notified of the recovery of the illegal rifles, and a separate case under the Arms Act will most likely be filed against Prem Prakash.
Apart from Prem Prakash's home, the ED searches 16 other homes in Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi-NCR concerning the illegal mining case. According to sources, CM Hemant Soren is also being investigated by the ED in this case.
The financial investigation agency, in its statement, stated, "The evidence gathered during the investigation, including statements from various people, digital evidence, and documents, revealed that the seized cash and bank balance were derived from illegal mining that was rampant in the Sahibganj area, including the forest area." A trail of another Rs 100 crore in criminal proceeds from illegal mining has also been discovered and is being investigated,"
Under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, the ED also seized Rs 11.88 crore from 37 bank accounts belonging to Hemant Soren's close associates, including his MLA representative Pankaj Mishra (PMLA).
On July 8, police raided Sahibganj, Barhet, Rajmahal, Mirza Chauki, and Barharwa in Jharkhand and seized incriminating documents and Rs 5.34 crore in unaccounted-for cash.
The ED also seized five illegal stone crushers and five illegal firearm cartridges from the site. Also, the probe agency searched 36 locations associated with the MNREGA scam in May and seized Rs 19.76 crore in cash. IAS officer Pooja Singhal and her associates' premises were included in the search.
Earlier, ED stated, "Most of the cash confiscated was obtained from illicit mining and belonged to senior bureaucrats and politicians, according to information acquired during the investigation, including information discovered during searches and comments from various people."
The ED arrested Pooja Singhal and her Chartered Accountant, Suman Kumar, and they are currently in jail. So far, the agency has seized Rs 36.58 crore allegedly generated illegally from mining.