A total of 20 officers and their 18 premises in ten states were covered under the said action by the agency that began early morning.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted nation-wide searches against several bureaucrats, including an IAS officer, in connection with its separate money laundering cases against them on corruption charges. A total of 20 officers and their 18 premises in ten states were covered under the said action by the agency that began early morning. The ED said the searches were carried out under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the action was part of gathering additional data, documents and information against the accused in these cases to take forward the investigation.
In West Bengal’s Kolkata, the agency searched the premises of an IAS officer, whom it had booked under PMLA on the basis of a case registered against him under anti-corruption laws by the state government.
“It is alleged that the said officer, in connivance with some engineers, had released Rs 60 crore by falsification and manipulation of tender documents,” the agency said in a statement. Similarly, it searched the premises of a Project Engineer in Noida in connection with the money laundering case it is probing against former Noida Chief Engineer Yadav Singh.
In Delhi, three retired officers of the State Trading Corporation (STC) including an ex-CMD were raided. “These officers had allowed transactions between STC and private parties which caused huge losses to STC. They had also approved credit limits to private parties against interests of STC,” it said.
In Tamil Nadu, the action was carried out against certain bank officials who had allegedly sanctioned loans for “extended credit facilities to private parties without obtaining proper documents or collateral securities and without following norms thus causing financial loss to the banks.”
“Searches have also been undertaken against a branch manager of State Cooperative Bank in Chhattisgarh who had allegedly acquired disproportionate assets by mis-utilising his position,” it said.
In Goa, the ED sleuths visited the premises of a former Principal Chief Engineer of the PWD. “It is alleged that the officer had helped the then chief minister for concealing the main noting file of awarding of JICA consultancy in Goa and he, on one occasion, delivered inappropriate payment to the then PWD Minister in Goa government,” it said, indicating that the instance pertains to the Louis Berger bribery case.
Similarly, raids were conducted against certain officials of the Employees Provident Fund Office (EPFO) in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“One of these officers was allegedly involved in financial irregularities and had transferred EPFO funds to the tune of around Rs 2 crore to the accounts of his relatives and family members while the other officer had been caught while accepting bribe from one private institute for extending undue favours,” it said.
The teams also searched the premises of an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer in Hyderabad “who had allegedly committed irregularities to the tune of Rs 8 crore while working in the AP Women’s Cooperative Finance Corporation (APWCFC), Hyderabad.”
In Uttar Pradesh, the ED searched the premises of government servants involved in the ‘Smarak’ case, pertaining to stones procured for building large structures, where it is suspected that government servants caused loss of over Rs 1,400 crore to the state government. Action, it said, has also been taken in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in which “government servants and ministers had allegedly misappropriated government funds and till now ED has attached proceeds of crime of over Rs 250 crore.
“The searches have been carried out on officers of the rank of DG (Health), Project Engineers and Director of UP Jal Nigam,” it said. Officials said all the ED cases of PMLA have been booked taking cognisance of FIRs filed either by the CBI, state vigilance bureaus or state police departments in cases of corruption and the agency now wants to send a message that such cases will be acted upon promptly and charge sheets will be filed against the officers in the court of law.