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Illegal mining: ED grills Odisha company head for 7 hours


Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 17:

Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials today grilled Dr Dipti Ranjan Patnaik, chairman of Altrade group of companies, for over seven hours at headquarters here in connection with the ongoing investigation into the illegal mining case in Odisha.

police grilling

He entered the ED office at around 11 am and left it at only around 7 pm.

After coming out, Patnaik told media persons that ED officials had asked him about the details of at least 15 companies of his group. “I have submitted the documents of the 15 companies to the ED officials,” he said. He, however, didn’t divulge any other details on the matter.

ED officials also asked about the monetary translations of these companies, sources said.

Earlier, ED officials had interrogated Anurag Patnaik, a representative of the mining lease holding firm, Indrani Patnaik, for seven hours at the ED office here.

Anurag was reportedly asked about the accounts of Altrade group in which he is a director.

Anurag, son of Indrani Patnaik who owns the mining firm named after her, claimed that his company Altrade had no links with the lease holding firm nor was he holding any position in it.

On July 9, ED sleuths had raided 15 places across the country, including at least 10 in the state, in connection with the money-laundering angle in the illegal mining case and had summoned 10 persons to appear for questioning.

Indrani Patnaik Mines had moved the Odisha High Court against the ED’s raid on them and subsequent freezing of their bank accounts.

The officials of Indrani Patnaik Mines had pleaded before the court to defreeze their accounts. Besides, they had questioned the ED action when a Vigilance probe into the alleged violations is already on.