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ED Files Charge Sheet Against Ex Punjab CM Channi’s Nephew in Sand Mining Case

ED filed a charge sheet against former CM Channi's nephew and his associate in the illegal sand mining case.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday, 31 March, filed a charge sheet against former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's nephew, Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, in a case related to illegal mining.

The charge sheet filed in the court of Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) judge, Rupinderjit Chahal, in Punjab, mentions another person Kudratdeep Singh beside Channi's nephew under money laundering charges.

ED has charged Honey and his associate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 with section 3 (offence of money laundering), section 4 (punishment for money laundering), section 44 (offences triable by special courts) and section 45 (offences to be cognisable and non-bailable).

The federal agency had conducted raids against Honey and others in nearly 10 places on 18 January, as the state was preparing for the Assembly elections. Following this, Bhupinder Singh was arrested on the intervening night of 3-4 February.

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ED's Raids Based on 2018 FIR Over Illegal Mining

The ED officials launched a money-laundering investigation based on an First Information Report (FIR) with allegations against Bhupinder Singh of 'mining beyond the designated area'.

The FIR was registered in March 2018 which mentioned that a team of the Mining Department, Civil Administration, and Police Department conducted a surprise inspection on the basis of a complaint lodged at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Police station.

The complaint was lodged alleging illegal sand mining operations being carried out at Malikpur, Burjtahl Das, Barsal, Lalewal, Mandala, and Khosa sand mines.

On 7 March 2018 when the surprise inspection was done, it was found that mining was being done by various machines and was being carried out beyond the allocated area of mining.

The inspecting team also captured and seized many tippers, trucks, Porcelain machines and JCB machines from the spot.

"The seized tipper and trucks were also found to be overloaded with sand. The seized weighment slips having office stamps had actually not been issued by the concerned office and were forged."
Enforcement Directorate.
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Following the inspection, mining operations at the Malikpur mining site and the approval of weighment slips were stopped.

Suspicion of Black Money Used To Acquire Mining Contracts

On the basis of the available information, ED had initiated enquiry against all the mining owners and their associates accused of illegal sand mining.

The agency suspects involvement of black money investments to acquire sand mining contracts. The company is believed to be of a very small scale thus making it unlikely for it to acquire contracts worth crores of rupees.

Punjab Police had already booked Kudratdeep Singh of Ludhiana and 25 others in the FIR registered in March 2018 and it was after Kudratdeep Singh's questioning by ED which revealed that Honey was the main facilitator in the case.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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