ED recovers ₹10 crore from Punjab CM Channi’s nephew, his partner - Hindustan Times

ED recovers 10 crore from Punjab CM Channi’s nephew, his partner

Jan 19, 2022 04:46 PM IST

Illegal sand mining case: Raids at 10 locations in Punjab conclude with recoveries; ED probing money-laundering charges as it suspects proceeds from illegal sand mining were further transferred

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday concluded its raids on Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh and nine others, including six mining contractors, in the illegal sand mining case with the seizure of 10 crore.

The cash seized from during the Enforcement Directorate raid on the premises of Bhupinder Singh, the nephew of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
The cash seized from during the Enforcement Directorate raid on the premises of Bhupinder Singh, the nephew of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

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The central agency seized total 10 crore from Bhupinder and his partner, Sandeep Kumar, besides recovering gold worth 21 lakh during the searches. The financial investigation agency had recovered nearly 6 crore from Bhupinder and Sandeep from their premises in Ludhiana on Tuesday and the amount touched 10 crore on Wednesday.

The ED raided 10 locations in poll-bound Punjab, including those linked to the CM’s nephew, in connection with probes into illegal sand mining in the state on Tuesday. The ED officials, accompanied by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, conducted searches at locations in Chandigarh, Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Pathankot and Mohali. An apartment belonging to Bhupinder was raided in Mohali. The ED is probing the source of unaccounted cash recovered from Bhupinder and Sandeep.

The agency’s probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is based on a 2018 case registered by Punjab Police for illegal sand mining in the border state. The central agency had lodged an ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report), an FIR, at its zonal office in Jalandhar in November last year after taking over the probe.

ED officials said Kudrat Deep Singh, one of the main accused, had set up a firm, Provider Consultancy Services Private Limited. The three directors of the firm are Kudrat Deep, Sandeep and Bhupinder. The ED has been probing money-laundering charges against them as it suspects the proceeds of crime from the illegal sand mining has been further transferred.

Following the probe against Kudrat Deep, the ED investigated the role of six contractors for illegal sand mining. Besides, it searched the premises of miner Sunil Joshi in Pathankot, Jagbir Inder Singh in Rupnagar and Randeep Singh in Fatehgarh Sahib, while the properties of Sandeep and Bhupinder were searched in Ludhiana, too.

According to the FIR, there are 26 accused, including Kudrat Deep. Most of them are truck drivers. The case was registered on the complaint of the Punjab mining department that found sand quarries being run without approval during its raids in 2018. The mining department impounded 30 vehicles and other machinery being used for the illegal mining. The FIR said that the mining was done outside the designated area and the operators used forged slips that were not issued by the mining department. Police cracked down on six companies in connection with the illegal sand mining case.

In 2019, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar police had also filed challan in the case against accused Baldev Singh and others. An SBS Nagar court has fixed February 23 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

In 2018, the case was registered under Sections 21(1) and 4(1) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, and Sections 420 (punishment for cheating), 471 (whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine), and 465 (punishment for forgery) at Rahon.

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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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