ED arrests 3 people in Nashik PDS foodgrain black marketing case

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested three people in a money laundering case linked to alleged black marketing of foodgrain worth Rs 177 crore issued under PDS and other government schemes meant for the under-privileged in Nashik district in Maharashtra.

In a statement, the central agency said it has arrested Sampat Namdeo Ghorpade, Arun Namdeo Ghorpade and Vishwas Namdeo Ghorpade under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on February 17.

A special court has remanded them in the custody of the agency for eight days after they were produced before it on February 18.

The ED case is based on a Nashik Police FIR and a subsequent charge sheet filed by it under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA).

'All the three accused gained illicit pecuniary advantage from Public Distribution System (PDS) by forming an organised crime syndicate and thereby started black marketing of government quota ration grain at Nashik.

'It was revealed during investigation that the accused persons had indulged in unlawful activities as an individual singly and jointly as a gang,' the ED alleged.

The crime money generated by these illegal activities was of around Rs 177 crore, it said.

The ED said Sampat Namdeo Ghorpade was the 'head of the said criminal syndicate/mafia gang and that this organised crime syndicate was also involved in stealing of government quota foodgrain which is also known as ration food which used to be kept reserved for poor strata of the society to be used in schemes like Antyodaya Yojna, Anganwadi, PDS, etc.' 'All the three accused persons had systematically executed this criminal activity with the help of other unknown accomplices and thereby generated the proceeds of crime of around Rs 177 crore,' it claimed. PTI NES SMN SMN