ED makes third arrest in Bengal coal mine money laundering case

The Law Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested a Gurupada Maji as part of its investigation into a money laundering case linked to an alleged scam at a coal mine in West Bengal, the ED said on Friday.

He was brought before the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi and was granted seven days of custody in the emergency room.

According to ED, Gurupada Maji is one of the partners of Anup Majee, the kingpin of illegal coal mining business activities in West Bengal. He also received more than Rs 66 crore from proceeds of crime (PoC) generated from the illegal coal mining activities of Anup Majee alias Lala and his associates, the ED statement said.

Furthermore, he had provided Rs 26 Crore (approx) in cash to a Kolkata-based CA for organizing shell companies for the purpose of taking housing entries.

In this process, Gurupada Maji had acquired 13 front companies with the help of the said Kolkata-based CA. The net worth of these 13 shell companies is over Rs 28 crore, but he acquired these companies after paying only Rs 88 Lakh on paper to the respective shareholders, thus successfully bringing the huge illegally generated cash into the financial system.

This is the third arrest in this case. Earlier, two defendants namely Shri Vikas Mishra and Shri Ashok Kumar Mishra (Inspector in Charge of West Bengal Police) were arrested on March 16, 2021 and April 3, 2021 respectively. also filed on May 13, 2021 against Vikas Mishra and Ashok Kumar Mishra and the Court had the pleasure of taking cognizance of the said prosecution complaint on July 28, 2021.

Abhishek Banerjee, a TMC MP and nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was questioned in the case by the ED even as his wife Rujira was also summoned.

This case was initiated by ED based on an FIR dated November 27, 2020 from CBI against Amit Kumar Dhar, then Managing Director, Kunustoria Region, ECL (Eastern Coalfield Ltd), Jayesh Chandra Rai, Managing Director, ECL, Kajora Area, Tanmay Das, Head of Security, ECL, Asansol, Dhananjay Rai, Area Security Inspector, Kunustoris, ECL, Debashish Mukherjee, Security Officer, Kajora Area, ECL, Anup Majee alias Lala and unknown officials from ECL, CISF, railways, other departments and unknown private persons.

The ED said the total proceeds of crime in the case amounted to Rs 1,352 crore and he had attached assets of Rs 180 crore so far.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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