Mohali, February 7: After the Enforcement Directorate arrested Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in a case connected with illegal sand mining, the agency has issued official statement on the same.
Following inputs, the Enforcement Directorate had on January 18, 2022, raided various premises, including business and residential premises of Kudratdeep Singh and other directors of M/s Providers Overseas Consultants Pvt Ltd, namely Bhupinder Singh Honey, and Sandeep Kumar.
Various incriminating documents, digital devices and cash to tune of more than Rs
10 crore, inter-alia, were recovered and seized during the search operation.
The ED had initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered at the Rahon police station, SBS Nagar, Punjab, under various Sections of the IPC and of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act, 1957.
In the aforesaid FIR, it was mentioned that a team comprising officials of the Mining Department, Civil Administration and police made a surprise check on March 7, 2018, based on a complaint received at the Rahon police station regarding illegal sand mining.
Consequently, it was found that several mines were being excavated by various
machines and mining was being carried out beyond the designated area.
Accordingly, several tippers/trucks, Porcelain machines and JCB machines were
impounded by the investigating team. The impounded tipper/trucks were also
found to be overloaded with sand.
The seized weighment slips having office stamps had not been issued by the office concerned and were forged. Subsequently, activities at the Malikpur mining site (belonging to Kudratdeep Singh) and the approval of weighment slips were stopped by the team.
During the course of search operation, the statements of Kudratdeep Singh,
Bhupinder Singh Honey, Santokh Singh (father of Bhupinder Singh) and Sandeep Kumar
were recorded, establishing that the seized Rs 10 crore belonged to Bhupinder
Further, Bhupinder Singh accepted that he received the seized cash in lieu of facilitation in sand mining operations and transfer/postings of officials.
Fresh summons were issued to Bhupinder Singh Honey for his personal appearance on February 3, 2022 along with requisite documents. In response, he appeared and tendered his statement, wherein he, inter-alia, stated that he is involved in mining-related activities, but took an evasive approach when confronted with incriminating data.
Bhupinder Honey was arrested on the night of February 3 and was taken to the ED office,
Jalandhar Zonal office, and subsequently produced in a Special Court the next day.
The Special Judge (PMLA) rejected the plea of the accused and sent him to the ED custody till February 8. Further investigation is under progress.