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May 6, 2024

Enforcement Directorate Seizes “Unaccounted” Cash Linked to Jharkhand Minister’s Aide: Raids in Ranchi Unveil Money Laundering Probe

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at multiple locations in Ranchi, uncovering a significant amount of “unaccounted” cash allegedly linked to a domestic help associated with Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam. Official sources revealed that during the searches, video footage and images depicted ED officials extracting bundles of currency notes from large bags at a building in Gadikhana Chowk. Additionally, central force security personnel were present during the operation.

The premises under scrutiny are reportedly linked to Sanjiv Lal, the personal secretary of Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alam. When contacted by PTI, Alam stated, “I have no official information regarding this so far,” adding, “I have been watching TV and it says the premises are linked to the official PS provided to me by the government.”

According to ED sources, note-counting machines have been deployed to determine the exact amount of cash recovered, estimated to range between Rs 20-30 crore, primarily in Rs 500 denominations. Moreover, some jewelry items were also seized during the operation.

Alam, a 70-year-old Congress leader representing the Pakur seat in the Jharkhand assembly, finds himself embroiled in a money laundering investigation linked to a former chief engineer of the rural development department, Veerendra Kumar Ram. Ram was arrested by the ED last year in connection with a money laundering case.

The agency had alleged that Ram, while serving as chief engineer in the Rural Works Department in Ranchi, had generated proceeds of crime through commissions from contractors in exchange for tender allotments. “The proceeds of crime thus generated were used by Veerendra Kumar Ram and his family members to live a very lavish lifestyle,” the agency stated in a release issued in April last year after attaching assets worth Rs 39 crore belonging to Ram.

The recent raids and cash seizure underscore the ongoing crackdown on corruption and illicit financial activities, particularly within government departments. The ED’s actions are part of a broader effort to tackle money laundering and bring accountability to those involved in financial irregularities.

Allegations of corruption and money laundering have been a persistent challenge in India, often undermining the effectiveness of public institutions and eroding public trust. Such high-profile cases highlight the need for stringent enforcement measures and greater transparency in governance.

As investigations unfold, the ED is expected to delve deeper into the connections and transactions involved in the case, aiming to unravel the full extent of the alleged financial misconduct. The outcomes of these investigations are crucial not only for accountability but also for restoring public confidence in the integrity of government institutions.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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