New Delhi: In a latest development in the MGNREGA fund scam involving suspended IAS official Pooja Singhal and others, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said that they conducted raids in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh at the premises of Mohammad Izhar Ansari and recovered cash around Rs 3.5 crore.
Ansari is said to be an aide of one of the accused in scam.
The ED had on February 23 arrested Virender Ram, the chief engineer working with Rural Development Department of Jharkhand Government in connection with the case. The ED team took him to Ranchi where his arrest was made.
The ED had initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of multiple FIRs registered by Jharkhand Police and Vigilance Bureau Jharkhand.
“Investigation revealed that the Proceeds of Crime (POC) generated from the MGNREGA scam in the form of commission was deposited in different bank accounts belonging to Pooja Singhal and her relatives. The said POC was mixed and layered with the other unaccounted money generated by Singhal, by misusing her official position,” the ED claimed.
The probe agency has said that initially the POC was generated from MGNREGA scam only, which was subsequently intermixed with other unaccounted funds generated from the corrupt practices of Pooja Singhal and these funds were layered as investment and further funds were generated from these funds, both as legitimate profit as well as by further infusion of POC.
“By this modus-operandi, Singhal amassed huge wealth disproportionate to her known source of income, and source of funds invested in these immovable properties were primarily from the unaccounted cash profits generated from these POC and therefore termed as POC,” the ED has alleged.
The Supreme Court on January 3 had granted interim bail to Pooja Singhal, Jharkhand cadre IAS officer suspended in a money laundering case, to look after her ailing daughter. The former state mines department secretary in Jharkhand, had been in custody since May last year, after raids were conducted at properties connected with her. She has been accused of money laundering.
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