Jharkhand: Former Mining Secretary Pooja Singhal and many officers including ED

Ranchi. ED has decoded shocking facts about the modus operandi of illegal mining and extortion racket in Jharkhand. For example, the officers involved in the scam used the code word ‘kilo’ for lakh rupees while transferring the amount of illegal recovery to each other. If an officer sent 10 lakh rupees to another for illegal recovery, then the message sent for its confirmation used to say that 10 kg was sent. The officer who received the money also replied in the same way – got 10 kilos or got 5 kilos. ED has shared many such information which came to light during the investigation of illegal mining scam in a report sent to the state government.

Based on the information received during the investigation and interrogation of the accused in the case of illegal mining and recovery, the ED has now arrested the District Mining Officers of at least three districts — Sahibganj, Pakur and Dumka, including Pooja Singhal, former mining secretary of Jharkhand government. Preparing to make the accused.

Senior IAS Pooja Singhal was arrested by the ED on May 11 in connection with the money laundering case of MNREGA scam. Prior to this, on May 6-7, raids were conducted at more than one and a half dozen locations of Pooja Singhal and people related to her, and several documents related to investment and money laundering including Rs 19 crore in cash were recovered. The cash was seized from the residence and office of Suman Kumar, a chartered accountant who worked for him. Based on his mobile phone chats and his interrogation, the ED has stated in its charge sheet that he was acting as an agent of extortion between the District Mining Officers and Mines Secretary Pooja Singhal. Instead of Pooja Singhal, the mining officers used to send money directly to him.

In the report sent by the ED to the state government, a copy of the charge sheet filed against Pooja Singhal and others is also attached. It has been told in the report that Pooja Singhal has made illegal income on a large scale from illegal mining racket. Based on the evidence attached in this report, the state government will register a case of disproportionate assets against Pooja Singhal and other officers. According to ED sources, substantial evidence has been found about the role of Sahibganj District Mining Officer Vibhuti Kumar, Dumka DMO Krishna Chandra Kisku and Pakur DMO Pradeep Shah in illegal mining and recovery. These officers have also accepted the matter of illegal recovery during interrogation. ED will soon file a charge sheet against these three as well.

Apart from these, during the investigation of transactions in several bank accounts of Pooja Singhal’s husband Abhishek Jha, ED has come across many shocking facts. The ED has told the court during the hearing on the petition filed by Abhishek Jha for anticipatory bail in this case that Abhishek Jha has got a huge amount of Australian dollars exchanged in Indian currency. Abhishek Jha deposited the money exchanged in dollars to rupees in his account, but did not clearly tell what was the source of the money.

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