Four More Arrested in C’grah Illegal Coal Scam

RAIPUR: In connection with the illegal coal levy scam of Chhattisgarh, the ED arrested four more who have been sent into judicial custody until January 30th. The four arrested included a “close confidant” of bureaucrat Saumya Chaurasia, two mining officers, and an alleged conman who impersonated as an ED officer. The arrests followed the recent raids conducted in connection to the case on January 13th in C’grah, Delhi, and Pune.

Among those arrested is Deepesh Taunk, who, the ED said, is a “close confidant” of Saumya Chaurasia, a deputy secretary in the office of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, and a key accused. The agency claimed Taunk was “knowingly involved in money laundering.”

Mining officers- Sandeep Kumar Nayak (Surajpur) and Shiv Shankar Nag (Korba)- are said to have knowingly and willingly assisted the syndicate of the cartel led by the president of Badal Makkar District Congress Suryakant Tiwari in committing extortion and acquisition of the proceeds of crime. The other accused is identified as Rajesh Chaudhary-cheated people by claiming to work as a middleman to settle cases. During the interrogation, the federal agency officials report to have recovered faked ID card of an ED officer issued in the name of Manoj Sharma and also declared himself an ED employee in various KYC documents submitted to banks.

The investigation relates to “a massive scam in which an illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians, and middlemen,” the agency has alleged.

An illegal levy of Rs 25 per tonne was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in the state by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians, and middlemen. According to sources in ED, the ones driving the cartel had amassed Rs 500 crore in 2021. 

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