Jalandhar (Punjab), April 3: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against the nephew of ex Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in an illegal sand mining case.
The agency has also named one more individual in the charge sheet filed on March 31 under money laundering charges in the court of Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) judge, Rupinderjit Chahal, in Punjab. The court has set April 6 as the next date of hearing.
The federal agency has charged Sections 3 (offence of money laundering), 4 (punishment for money laundering), 44 (offences triable by special courts) and 45 (offences to be cognisable and non-bailable), of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 against Charanjit Singh Channi's nephew Bhupinder Singh alias Honey and his associate Kudratdeep Singh.
Honey was arrested by the ED on the intervening night of February 3 and 4, and the agency was required by law to file a chargesheet against him within 60 days.
Earlier, days before the Punjab Assembly elections, the ED had conducted raids against Honey and others at 10 locations on January 8. The agency has also seized over Rs 10 crore, Gold worth above 21 lakh and a Rolex watch worth Rs 12 lakh from the residential premises of alleged land mafia Honey, and others in connection with an alleged illegal sand mining case.
The ED had declared the recoveries after conducting a two-day raid at the business and residential premises of the accused and their associates in over a dozen places in Mohali, Ludhiana, Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Pathankot.
In March 2018, the ED launched a money-laundering investigation based on an FIR filed at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Police Station under sections379, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 21(1) and 4(1) of Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act, 1957.
According to the FIR, on March 7, 2018, a team comprised of officers from the Mining Department, Civil Administration, and the Police Department conducted a surprise check in response to a tip about illegal sand mining received at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Police Station.
Consequently, it was discovered that several mines were being excavated by various machines and mining was being carried out beyond the designated area.
Accordingly, many tippers and trucks, Porcelain machines and JCB Machines were seized by the investigating team.
Honey's partner Kudratdeep Singh and 25 others are already booked by Punjab Police in its FIR lodged in 2018. When the ED questioned Kudratdeep Singh it came to the fore that Honey was the main facilitator.