C’grah Coal Scam: ED Files Chargesheet; Attaches More Benami Assets

RAIPUR: The ED on Monday said it attached 51 immovable properties worth Rs 17.48 crores in the illegal coal scam case in CG. Eight out of them are said to belong to Saumya Chaurasia, deputy secretary to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, it added. Saumya Chaurasi was posted as the deputy secretary to Chhattisgarh CM when the ED initiated its action. 

The 43 other benami assets controlled by Suryakant Tiwari were also added it said.

The ED in the same investigation filed a chargesheet on Monday before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur against eight persons, including Saumya Chaurasia. The 5,500-page chargesheet filed in the court of 4th Additional District and Sessions Judge (Special Judge PMLA) Ajay Singh Rajput named eight accused involved in an illegal mining case.

This is the second time the federal probe agency has attached assets to the case. Earlier, on December 9th, it had earlier attached properties worth Rs 152.31 crore belonging to Suryakant Tiwari, IAS Officer Sameer Vishnoi, Sunil Agarwal, and Saumya Chaurasia among others.

According to a complaint lodged by the IT Dept, a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians, and middlemen was allegedly extorting a levy of Rs 25 per tonne for coal transported in Chhattisgarh. The proceeds of the crime, the ED alleged, were being used for “investing in benami assets, bribing officials to influence senior officers and also used by or on behalf of political executives of the state”.

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