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Jharkhand: Cash worth Rs 5 cr seized from Pooja Singhal’s close aide, Vishal Choudhary arrested

PMLA Case: ED raids seven locations in Ranchi and Muzaffarpur

Mail News Service

Ranchi, May 24: In latest development in the corruption and public money laundering act (PMLA) case against Jharkhand IAS officer Pooja Singhal , the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted raids at six locations in Ranchi and one location in Muzaffarpur (Bihar), sources said.

A source said that they were conducting raids at Ranchi and in Bihar’s Muzaffarnagar. The ED recently grilled Ravi Kejriwal, the former Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Treasurer. The probe agency has also scanned last three years transactions of Singhal to check of any suspicious money trail. It has also scanned all her properties.

In Ranchi, the ED officials recovered cash worth Rs 5 crore from the house of Vishal Choudhary, whose father Triveni Choudhary is reportedly closely associated with Pooja Singhal. ED officials called three machines to count the seized currency notes. After eight hour long questioning, the officials took Vishal into custody, sources said.

Vishal reportedly runs an engineering college in Jharkhand. His mother opposed ED raid at her house at Gate No 6 in Ashok Nagar. She was pacified after being persuaded by the officials.

Another ED team today raided Triveni Choudhary’s house at Road No 15 in Rahul Nagar, Muzaffarpur (Bihar). The team reportedly stumbled across a bundle of documents which were being perused till late evening. During the raid, the officials also reportedly recovered the iPhone of Triveni Choudhary from a dustbin. Several important documents were also found from garbage in the house, sources said.

The ED has been investigating the mining case related to suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal. While a total of seven cases have been raided in Jharkhand, one place has been raided so far in Bihar. Further developments regarding Tuesday’s action are awaited.

Singhal was suspended about a fortnight ago after the Enforcement Directorate recovered Rs 17.51 crore from the premises of Singhal’s CA. In a detailed statement, the CA said that all the money recovered from his premises belonged to Singhal. In its affidavit in the Jharkhand High Court, the probe agency has claimed that Singhal is involved in cases of money laundering and awarded several mining contracts to mafias in the state during her tenure as the mining secretary.

The alleged scam also brought Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren under the scanner of the probe agencies. The Election Commission of India had, in a notice to Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, asked him why no action should be taken against him.

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