Former Punjab CM Channi questioned by ED in illegal sand mining case - Hindustan Times
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Former Punjab CM Channi questioned by ED in illegal sand mining case

Apr 14, 2022 02:20 PM IST

Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey was arrested in connection with the case on February 3 and is in judicial custody at present

Former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the illegal sand mining case in Jalandhar on Wednesday.

Former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi with his nephew, Bhupinder Singh Honey (right), who was arrested on February 3 and is in judicial custody after the ED recovered <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 crore during raids in Ludhiana and Mohali in the illegal sand mining case. (HT file photo)
Former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi with his nephew, Bhupinder Singh Honey (right), who was arrested on February 3 and is in judicial custody after the ED recovered 10 crore during raids in Ludhiana and Mohali in the illegal sand mining case. (HT file photo)

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Though the ED is tight-lipped, it is learnt that Channi was questioned for several hours at its zonal office in Jalandhar on Wednesday afternoon. He was summoned by the ED a few weeks ago, too, but Channi didn’t appear before the agency at that time.

Channi tweeted, “I was summoned by the ED yesterday regarding the mining case. I attended and replied to the queries put by them to the best of my knowledge. A challan in this case has already been presented by ED in the court .The authorities have not asked me to come again.”

On January 17 and 18 this year, the ED had raided the premises of the former CM’s nephew, Bhupinder Singh Honey, and his aides, including Kudrat Deep Singh, in Ludhiana and Mohali.

The federal agency recovered 10 crore during the raids. Honey admitted that the cash seized from him was earned from illegal sand mining and through kickbacks for transfers and postings. Honey was arrested by the central agency on February 3 and is in judicial custody at present. The ED had filed a chargesheet against Honey and Kudrat in the illegal sand mining case under money-laundering charges in a Jalandhar court on March 31.

The ED’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 ED has been probing money-laundering charges against him as it suspects the proceeds of crime from illegal sand mining has been further transferred.

According to the FIR, there are 26 accused, most of them 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. Honey was not accused in the FIR, whereas Kudrat was also granted a clean chit by the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar police in a follow-up inquiry.

Meanwhile, former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has taken a dig and tweeted, “My fight was for Punjab and not for sand…Those who ran the land, sand and liquor mafia let down Punjab for selfish vested interests by looting the exchequer…. It is either Punjab or the mafia in the present financial scenario! The fight continues.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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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