NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate probing into Uliburu mining scam has registered a money laundering case under the provisions of Money Laundering Act and is likely to confiscate properties of accused, terming it as proceeds from ill-gotten wealth.
ED sources said that last week, the agency had sought 15 days remand of main accused Deepak Gupta and one of his close aides for further interrogation. A team of 10 sleuths from the ED office in Kolkata are handling the investigation into `2,000 crore scam.
In January, the state Vigilance Wing had charge-sheeted 25 persons, including some government officials. The ED, while registering the case, has taken the cognisance of the Wing’s FIR filed against main accused Deepak Gupta, his family members and certain government officials who facilitated the scam. The Justice M B Shah Commission, in its June 2013 Report, had pointed out that large quantities of iron and manganese ores had been illegally extracted and transported from the Uliburu mines, located in Joda mining circle of Keonjhar district. The Commission, citing the report submitted by state-level enforcement squad had said: “Its valuation, as per the said report, is approximately more than `2000 crore”.
“Since this is one of the biggest illegal minings ever observed by the Commission, it is strongly felt that this is a fit case to handover to the CBI for further investigation and follow up action,” the Commission report stated. “The CBI should also be requested to investigate whether it was done with the connivance of the concerned officers of the Forest, Mining and Revenue Departments and others, because the illegal mining of such a large magnitude could not have been carried out without the connivance of the district level and above officials,” the report said.