While seeking 10 - day remand of Hemant Soren the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed that former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had directly indulged in the process connected with the acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime.
“Hemant Soren is knowingly a party with Circle Inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad in the activities connected with the concealment of the original records for projecting the property he acquired illegally as an untainted property,” the ED stated in the PMLA court today seeking a 10-day remand for the former chief minister.
The court, which sent Soren into judicial custody, will take a call on the ED plea tomorrow. The central agency, in its remand petition, said that the process or the activity connected with the acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime by projecting it as untainted property is a continuing activity and is continuing on day Hemant Soren is still directly enjoying the said proceeds of crime by its possession, occupation and use by claiming it as untainted property.
Role of Revenue Inspector Bhanu Pratap
“The ED, during an investigation in another case related to the fraudulent acquisition of the Ministry of Defence land, having an area of 4.55 acres at Morabadi, Ranchi, found that Revenue Inspector, Bargain, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, was part of a syndicate involved in corrupt practices of acquiring properties forcefully as well as based on false deeds, falsification of government records, tampering with original revenue documents, etc.
It raided his premises on February 9 last year; it found that Bhanu Pratap Prasad was the custodian of several original registers in which the land records (particularly ownership details) were falsified on the instance of others and for mutual benefit and were concealed by him.
It found that Bhanu Pratap Prasad was involved in various corrupt practices and had been a party with several persons in their activities linked to the fraudulent acquisition of properties, and as such, he concealed all registers at his rented premises after the above-stated survey.
During searches on On April 13, 2023, 11 trunks of voluminous property documents and 17 original registers were seized from his possession. Bhanu Pratap Prasad, along with six other members of this land-grabbing syndicate were arrested on 14.04.2023 for their involvement in illegal activities.
The ED seized digital evidence from his mobile phone to show how he was involved in hatching conspiracies with other persons, including Hemant Soren, to acquire properties illegally. Bhanu Pratap’s mobile contains Hemant Soren’s illegally acquired land “Several chats and information about cash transactions and illegal benefits to others in acquiring land have been identified.
In addition, one image containing the list of landed properties illegally obtained and possessed by Hemant Soren, which were situated under his jurisdiction, having a total area of 8.5 acres (approximately), has also been recovered,” the ED has stated.
According to the ED, Bhanu Pratap Prasad had physically verified the land on instructions passed on to him from the CMO through the Circle officer. He also drew some notes/observations on it after confirming the land, it added. How is Hemant Soren guilty of money laundering?
“The persons whom Bhanu Pratap Prasad assisted in acquiring /continuation of such properties are guilty of Money Laundering under section 3 of PMLA,” the ED has concluded. “The assistance of Bhanu Pratap Prasad is established from the possession of the original registers, having the records of the owners kept concealed by him at his home.
The images of the handwritten notes concerning the above properties recovered from the mobile of Bhanu Pratap Prasad and further investigation establishes the possession of Hemant Soren and the fact that there was an attempt to falsify the records of that register so that the property could be entered in the name of Hemant Soren, which was foiled by timely actions of the ED,” the agency has stated in its report submitted at the PMLA court.
ED raids at Delhi house The ED has said that searches were conducted at the residential premises of Hemant Soren at 5/1 Shantiniketan, New Delhi.
“Huge cash amounting to Rs 36,34,500 was seized from the cupboard of the room under his use and occupation, along with other documents linked to the investigation being conducted into the matter of the acquisition of landed properties by fraudulent means. The ED said that those properties’ possession, use, and concealment process is also continuing.
“There are strong reasons to believe that Hemant Soren knowingly indulges in such processes and activities by which he has acquired numerous landed properties in his name as well as in the name of the family members,” it has added.
The ED wants to interrogate Soren under custody for 10 days to examine the sources of funds/property by which the proceeds of crime have been acquired and also to ascertain the role of other persons involved with Hemant Soren for acquiring the said proceeds of crime.
It also wants to confront Hemant Soren with the available evidence regarding the illegal acquisition of the property in which he is actually involved and a party with other accused.
Note: Inputs and facts courtesy the jharkhandstory.com