Illegal mining case: ED fans out across 3 states

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday launched simultaneous searches in three states in connection with its investigation of the scam relating to the illegal mining of iron ore.

  • Published 9.07.15
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New Delhi/Calcutta, Jul 9 (PTI): The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday launched simultaneous searches in three states in connection with its investigation of the scam relating to the illegal mining of iron ore.

Sources said the ED’s zonal headquarters in Calcutta is spearheading the searches in at least 15 places across Bhubaneshwar, Keonjhar, Rourkela in Odisha, and Salem and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and in Calcutta itself.

”Multiple teams of the agency assisted by local police are conducting the searches. The action is being carried out as part of an FIR registered under the PMLA,” they said, referring to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The sources said the ED Calcutta office took cognisance of the report of the committee headed by retired judge M.B. Shah and also the criminal complaints filed by Odisha vigilance department in these cases of illegal iron-ore mining before registering its own FIR.

They said the searches are also being carried out at the premises of a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and a woman Congress politician of Odisha against whom ED has slapped charges of money laundering.

The agency is also searching the premises of a Tamil Nadu-based person who was running 'mafia' style iron-ore mining operations in Odisha, they said.

The Odisha vigilance department had registered a case against these people and their firms in 2012 and filed a charge-sheet against them the next year in the Rs 2000-crore scam.

Officials said the operation has been codenamed 'Earth' and is expected to carry on till late into the day.

ED has registered a total of three FIRs to probe money laundering instances in illegal iron-ore mining scam in eastern Indian states, the most prominent one being the Uliburu mining case of Odisha. 

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