ED arrests Bhupinder Singh nephew of Punjab CM Channi in illegal sand mining case
Sources claimed he was evasive in his replies and was hence taken into custody. The ED will produce him before a special PMLA court in Mohali on Friday seeking his remand.
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Bhupinder Singh alias Honey nephew of
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in the illegal sand mining case.
Sources said that Bhupinder was yesterday called for questioning at the ED office at Jalandhar and the questioning went on till midnight as after about seven to eight hours of questioning he was finally arrested.
The ED sleuths got his medical examination conducted before keeping him in a lockup in its Jalandhar
office the whole night and he is likely to be produced before the ED's special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mohali today.
The action by the ED has come two days ahead of the visit of former congress president Rahul Gandhi to Ludhiana in which he is expected to announce CM face by the party and Channi is the frontrunner in the race.
Last month the team of Enforcement Directorate had conducted raids at more than a dozen places in Punjab (Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana, SBS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Pathankot), including the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's nephew Bhupinder Singh alias Honey at Homeland Heights in Sector 70 at Mohali and Ludhiana, in connection with an illegal sand mining case in
an anti-money laundering investigation under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and had seized Rs 10 crore in cash that included about Rs 8 crore from his (Bhupinder), Channi's sister-in-law's son residence besides a number of documents and electronic devices and another Rs 2crore was seized from the house of one Sandeep Kumar associate of Bhupinder.
In 2018 the Punjab Police had registered a case regarding illegal sand mining and charges of cheating were added later in the case. On this basis, the ED had taken over the case. As per preliminary probe name of one Kudratdeep Singh had surfaced and when he was questioned by the apex agency thus it came to know
that that the main facilitator was Bhupinder and now it is being investigated that
Channi's name was used to do illegal mining or not, said sources.
Earlier when Sukhpal Singh Khaira was an MLA and a member of AAP he then raised the issue at that time Channi was technical education minister in the Amarinder cabinet. But Channi then had termed these allegations as baseless. Now Khaira is in the Congress.
After resigning as Punjab Chief Minister leaving the Congress Capt. Amarinder Singh, had then publicly alleged that Congress leaders were involved in illegal sand mining. "As far as the issue of illegal sand mining was concerned the offenders, unfortunately, were the substantive bulk of Congress MLAs and Ministers, including an overwhelming number in
the current government,’’ he had said.
Also, the Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party had been consistently accusing the Congress leaders of being involved in illegal mining activities.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Channi had been terming the ED action as political vendetta unleashed by the Centre to target him and the Congress ahead of the elections.