ED attaches Rs 165-cr worth assets of WB coal scam mastermind Anup Majhi

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has attached assets worth over Rs 165 crore of Anup Majhi, the alleged mastermind of an illegal coal mining case of West Bengal, under the anti-money laundering law.

These assets include land, factory premises, machinery and other assets of two companies, Ispat Damodar Private Limited and Sonic Thermal Private Limited, it said.

'The manufacturing plants of both these companies are situated in Purulia and Bankura of West Bengal and beneficially owned by Anup Majhi,' the central agency said in a statement.

The total value of the attached properties is Rs 165.86 crore, it said.

The ED alleged that Majhi 'had transferred proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 67.80 crore to both the said companies in the guise of share purchase of these companies for acquiring their plants/assets.' 'Additionally, proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 98.06 crore were also transferred to both of the said companies,' it claimed.

These funds had been layered by Maji through a maze of shell companies and generated from the illegal coal mining, it said.

Majhi has been questioned a few times by the CBI in this case.

He has got protection from arrest in this case till April 6 from the Supreme Court but was directed to co-operate in the probe.

The multi-crore coal pilferage scam is related to the Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the state's Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.

The case picked up steam after Rujira Banerjee, wife of TMC MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee was questioned by the CBI some time back as the high-stakes eight-phase Assembly polls is going on in the state.

The ED case, filed under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was registered after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR against the accused.

The Enforcement Directorate had also arrested state police official Ashok Mishra and TMC youth wing leader Vinay Mishra's brother Vikas Mishra in this case.

The agency had claimed that the brothers received 'proceeds of crime worth Rs 730 crore on behalf of some influential persons and for themselves' in the alleged illegal coal-mining case involving an estimated Rs 1,300 crore. The CBI had registered its FIR in November last year against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket, Majhi, ECL general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL security chief Tanmay Das, Kunustoria area security inspector Dhananjay Rai and Kajor area security in-charge Debashish Mukherjee. PTI NES NSD NSD