Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jul 9:
Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are conducting simultaenous searches in 15 locations spread across Odisha, Kolkata and Tamil Nadu in connection with the ongoing probe in an illegal iron ore mining case.
The search operations by ED are going on at 10 locations in Odisha, including Keonjhar, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
Among the places in Odisha being raided by the central agency are Sirajuddin & Co, Triveni Earthmovers and a transport company in which Champua MLA Sanatan Mahakud is a partner.
Mahakud’s residence in Shahid Nagar area here is also being raided, the sources said.
Tthe raids are being conducted on an FIR registered by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of of the report of the committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice MB Shah and the criminal complaints filed by Odisha vigilance department in 2012.
The Odisha vigilance department, it may be noted, had registered a case against these individuals and their firms in 2012 and filed a charge-sheet against them the next year in the multi-thousand core mining scam.
Search operations are going on in Salem and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, besides some a couple of locations in Kolkata.
Codenamed ‘Earth’, the search operations are expected to continue till evening, ED sources said.
ED has registered a total of three FIRs to probe money laundering instances in illegal iron-ore mining scam in eastern states, the most prominent one being the Rs 1800 crore Uliburu mining case in Odisha.