A super speciality hospital, a diagnostic centre and two land parcels worth Rs 82.77 crore “belonging" to jailed Jharkhand IAS officer Pooja Singhal have been attached under the anti-money laundering law, the ED said on Thursday.
The federal agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The frozen properties include the Pulse super speciality hospital, a diagnostic and imagining centre in the same name and two land parcels located in Ranchi, it said.
Singhal, a 2000-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 11 on money laundering charges linked to alleged irregularities in the MGNREGA scheme. The agency raided her premises and that linked to her businessman husband and a chartered accountant.
She was later suspended by the state government. The officer is currently lodged in jail under judicial custody and a charge sheet was filed against her by the agency in July followed by two supplementary prosecution complaints (charge sheet).
“The evidences about the corrupt practice have already been shared with the government of Jharkhand under section 66 (2) of PMLA for considering action under Prevention of Corruption Act against Pooja Singhal and others," the agency said. The money laundering case against Singhal and others stems from an FIR of the Jharkhand Police and the Vigilance Bureau.
“Investigation found that proceeds of the crime generated from the MNREGA scam in the form of commission was deposited in different bank accounts belonging to Pooja Singhal and her relatives. “These proceeds were mixed and layered with other unaccounted money generated by Pooja Singhal, by misusing her official position," the ED alleged.
“Pooja Singhal amassed huge wealth disproportionate to her known source of income and source of funds invested in these immovable properties were primarily from the unaccounted cash profits generated from these proceeds of crime," it said.
The ED is also probing the role of the bureaucrat in an another money laundering investigation into alleged illegal mining in the state. It has arrested a political aide of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and two others in the mining case and has also questioned and recorded Soren’s statement.
Singhal had held the charge of Jharkhand mining secretary.
Suman Kumar, a chartered accountant linked to Singhal and her husband, was also arrested by the agency and cash amounting to Rs 19.76 crore was seized by it after raids at their premises.
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