Illegal mining in Karnataka: ED attaches assets worth Rs 5.21 crore
“During investigation under PMLA, it has been noticed that iron ore have been illegally mined, transported and traded without valid permits which caused loss to the exchequer.
BENGALURU: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Bengaluru Zonal Office, has provisionally attached assets — six immovable properties owned by the accused persons — worth Rs. 5.21 crore in a case related to illegal mining under the provisions of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA).
The case pertains to the trading of illegally mined iron ore by various traders. ED initiated an investigation under PMLA based on an FIR registered by the Special Investigation Team, Karnataka Lokayukta against Mineral Enterprises Ltd, unknown government employees and other unknown persons under various sections of the Mines & Minerals Development Regulation Act, 1957 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, following directives of the Supreme Court.
“During investigation under PMLA, it has been noticed that iron ore have been illegally mined, transported and traded without valid permits which caused loss to the exchequer. It has also been noticed that the source of such illegal iron ore are two mines owned by SB Minerals having partners - BP Anand Kumar, Panduranga Singh and Gopal Singh, one mine owned by Shanthlakshmi and J Mithyleswar and another mine owned by Bharat Mines and Minerals having partners – BMM Ispat Ltd and Dinesh Kumar Singhi,” an official release read.
Earlier, the Supreme Court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC), during its survey of mining leases in Karnataka, found gross illegalities/encroachment with respect to these four mines and kept them in C Category and on the recommendation of the CEC, the Supreme Court cancelled their licenses. “Investigation under PMLA has established that the accused persons have caused wrongful loss to the Government exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to themselves. Further investigation is under progress,” the release added.