Chartered Accountant Suman Kumar has alleged that majority of the cash out of the Rs 17.49 crore recovered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 6 belongs to IAS Pooja Singhal. Kumar told this to the agency during questioning in Ranchi.
ED had arrested Jharkhand mining secretary Pooja Singhal on Wednesday night in a money laundering case pertaining to the embezzlement of funds worth crores in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) in Khunti and other suspicious transactions.
She was taken into custody under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after two days of questioning by the central agency. Singhal was not the only one to be arrested in this case as the central agency also nabbed Suman Kumar, a chartered accountant and financial advisor linked to the IAS officer and her husband on May 7.
ED had recovered around Rs 17 crore cash from Kumar's premises during the raids on May 6. According to the ED, the IAS officer transferred Rs 16.57 crore from her "personal account" to those controlled or owned by CA Kumar.
"The statement of Suman Kumar taken under section 50 of PMLA during ED custody, it is stated that most of the cash amount recovered from his house belongs to Pooja Singhal, which were collected by him on her instruction. Further, he disclosed that on instructions of Pooja Singhal, he gave Rs 3 Crores in cash to renowned builder for purchasing the land for Pulse Hospital owned by Pooja Singhal & her family," reads the ED documents accessed by India Today TV.
The agency has also alleged that independent valuation of land and building of the hospital, including one diagnostic centre owned by Pooja Singhal, revealed that it is worth more than Rs 40 crore. The value of machinery is worth over Rs 30 crore
"However, in the financial records of the hospital they have declared much less valuation as above. Investigation revealed that the tainted funds were being laundered through the hospital," said the ED.
ED suspects that the IAS officer was receiving crores of rupees in bribe which was being diverted through the hospital.
In another statement, a witness told the ED that, "accused Junior Engineer Ram Binod Prasad Sinha was paying bribe to Pooja Singhal. He has confessed that on four occasions he had seen the accused Junior Engineer handing over bags containing 18-20 gaddis of notes of Rs 500 denomination."
Another witness told the agency that when Pooja Singhal was Deputy Commissioner, cash in locked bags were delivered to her on multiple occasions.
(With inputs from Munish Pandey)
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