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Mining officials Ďmintí money

- Searches unearth illegal assets over Rs 9cr

Patna, Jan. 3: The economic offences unit (EOU) of the state police today searched the office and the residential premises of two officials of the mines and geology department and found disproportionate assets worth Rs 9.6 crore.

The searches were carried out at 10 places in Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Sheikhpura districts. An unconfirmed report said raids were also conducted on the Sheikhpura house of a mining mafioso having links with an influential RJD leader, but officials remained tight-lipped.

The EOU officials started search in the Ashiana Nagar (Surya Vihar Colony) residence of mining development officer Jhakari Ram around 9am. The members of the search team were taken aback when they found bundles of currency notes in the denomination of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 stuffed in several iron boxes.

Sources said cash amounting to Rs 1.64 crore was recovered during the eight-hour-long operation. Machines were hired from a bank to count the currency notes. The officials also seized documents related to purchase of land in Patna and Kaimur in Bihar and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The plots were purchased in the names of Ramís wife Reshmi Devi and four children.

During the operation, the officials stumbled upon the documents suggesting deposit of Rs 2.44 crore in different bank accounts and investments in several insurance policies worth Rs 15.25 lakh. Jewellery worth Rs 8.81 lakh was also seized. Ram owned two luxury vehicles besides four-storeyed buildings in Patna and Kaimur districts.

In another operation, disproportionate assets of a little over Rs 2 crore were found during raids conducted on the office and the residential premises of Birendra Prasad Yadav, a mining inspector in Gopalganj district. The raids were conducted in Muzaffarpur, Vaishali and Patna.

Additional director-general (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said two separate cases under sections 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(E) of Prevention of Corruption Act were lodged with the EOU police station in Patna against Ram and Yadav on Thursday. Separate teams were formed and searches were launched on Friday morning after obtaining order from the special vigilance court.

Giving details of the search operations, Kumar said Ramís movable assets worth Rs 4.56 crore and immovable property worth Rs 3.03 crore have so far been seized. He said Ramís office and his rented accommodation in Sheikhpura district were also under the scanner.

Similarly, disproportionate assets worth Rs 2.01 crore belonging to the mining inspector, Yadav, have been detected. Yadav owned movable assets worth Rs 1.08 crore and immovable assets worth Rs 92.48 lakh, respectively, the ADG (headquarters) said.

Yadav had purchased a flat in Usha Palace in the Kankerbagh locality of the city for Rs 14 lakh.


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