Saturday, December 2, 2023

ED summons 20 individuals for questioning in Jharkhand Liquor Scam investigation

Ranchi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), currently investigating the money laundering aspects of the liquor scam in Jharkhand, has issued summons to 20 individuals associated with Deoghar, Jamtara, and Godda. These individuals are linked to liquor businessman Yogendra Tiwari, who was arrested by the ED on October 19 after an extensive interrogation.

The summoned individuals will face daily questioning starting from November 18 as part of the ongoing investigation. The liquor scam came into focus on August 23 when the ED conducted raids at 36 locations, including the residence of the state Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon. During the raid, Rs 30 lakh in cash was discovered at the hideout of Rohit Oraon, the son of Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon. Documents related to the liquor business were also found at the premises of Yogendra Tiwari.

Earlier this year, an Income Tax Department raid on March 21 revealed that Yogendra Tiwari had undisclosed assets exceeding Rs 15 crore. The ED investigation also indicated a nexus between Tiwari and Prem Prakash, who was previously arrested in an illegal mining case. Documents related to the liquor syndicate were seized during the raid on Prem Prakash’s hideout, leading to suspicions of a significant scam in the liquor business involving the conversion of black money into white.

The investigation revealed that, in collaboration with officials and politicians, the liquor contract was obtained from a fictitious company, and the proceeds were invested in various ventures such as land, sand, and shale companies. Irregularities were also discovered in the stock of liquor shops belonging to Yogendra Tiwari’s close associates in 2020, leading to multiple arrests.

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