ED makes fresh arrest in Jharkhand land fraud money laundering case
Prakash was arrested by the ED last year in August in a separate money laundering case being probed in the state related to alleged illegal mining. He was lodged in a jail in judicial custody here
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Prem Prakash, an alleged local muscleman, as part of its ongoing money laundering probe linked to a land "grabbing and fraud" case in Jharkhand, official sources said on Friday.
Prakash was arrested by the ED last year in August in a separate money laundering case being probed in the state related to alleged illegal mining. He was lodged in a jail in judicial custody here.
He was arrested in the alleged land scam case after the ED moved a local court and sought his custody, the sources said.
Prakash is stated to have political links.
This is the 14th arrest in this case. The ED had arrested 2011-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Chhavi Ranjan, who earlier served as the director of the state social welfare department and as the deputy commissioner of Ranchi, and some others in the case.
An employee of the Jharkhand land revenue department, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, was also arrested by the agency in the case.
The investigation pertains to "huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/ bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores".
The alleged fraud pertains to a "racket of land mafia" that is said to be active in Jharkhand and involved in "forging the legacy records" in Kolkata (West Bengal) and Ranchi, the ED had said. It alleged that based on the forged land records, land parcels were sold to other persons.
The ED has conducted as many as 41 searches and five surveys as part of this investigation and its sleuths have seized "forged" seals of the land revenue department, land deeds, and records of distribution of the "proceeds of crime" apart from some photographs depicting this alleged forgery, "evidence" of giving bribe to government officials, etc. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has also been summoned by the ED on August 14 for questioning in this case.