Vikash Sharma

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Bhubaneswar on Sunday conducted search operations at multiple locations linked to M/s Deepak Steel & Power Ltd, M/s Snehapusph Marketing (P) Ltd, other associated companies/entities in connection with illegal iron ore mining scam in Joda in Keonjhar district.

The raids were conducted under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, at 12 locations in Bhubaneswar, Barbil, Rourkela, and Kolkata.

Sources said the raids were conducted on the Directors and Chartered accountants of these companies to trace and unearth the proceeds of crime relating to illegal iron ore mining scam in Joda. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the ED initiated an investigation on the basis of FIR registered by the Vigilance Department, Odisha Police, and Chargesheets filed by the Vigilance Department under various sections of IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against M/s. Deepak Steel and Power Ltd., M/s. Snehapusph Marketing Pvt. Ltd,  Deepak Gupta,  Hari Charan Gupta, and others.

ED investigation revealed that the Proceeds of Crime generated from the business of illegal mining were layered through multiple shell companies based in Kolkata and Barbil having dummy Directors. 

During the search operation, Rs 30 Lakh, 2 Kg gold worth Rs 1.24 Crore, one Car along with property documents, digital devices, and incriminating documents were seized. 

A freezing order was also issued to two banks, freezing a balance of Rs 1.23 Crore in six bank accounts related to the directors of accused companies, ED said in a release.

A PAO attaching movable and immovable properties to the tune of Rs 379 Crore was earlier issued in this case. A Prosecution Complaint was also filed in the PMLA Court and the Special Court (PMLA) has taken cognizance, the release added.

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