New Delhi [India], October 16 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against liquor mafia Sanjay Pratap Singh and others before a special court in Patna here in connection with a money laundering case related to the hooch tragedy, in which 21 persons lost their lives in Bihar’s Bhojpur district after drinking poisonous liquor.
The ED, in its chargesheet, prayed for awarding punishment to the accused and confiscation of assets totalling to Rs 1.32 crores belonging to accused Sanjay Pratap Singh, his wife Kiran Devi, and his associate Srikumar Singh in the hooch tragedy case.
“The attached properties liable for confiscation include 15 landed plots along with construction on two plots held in the name of accused Sanjay Pratap Singh, his associates and balances in bank accounts held in the name of Sanjay Pratap Singh and his unregistered firm, Maa Construction,” the ED said in a statement on Friday.
According to the ED, it had initiated an investigation into the matter under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of scheduled offences invoked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in Ara Nawada police station on December 7, 2012.
“Investigation under PMLA revealed that Sanjay Pratap Singh has invested the proceeds of crime generated through illegal trade of country liquor for acquiring immovable properties in his name and in the name of his wife, Kiran Devi, who has no independent source of income,” the statement said.
“In the year 2011, with the intention to legalise his tainted income from country liquor, Sanjay Pratap Singh formed an unregistered firm namely Bhojpur Wine Traders to launder Proceeds of Crime. The investigation also revealed that the accused used the proceeds of crime into the construction business namely Maa Construction where ill-gotten money was used for acquisition of immovable property,” it added.
The economic offences watchdog said that the state police investigation had revealed that deceased persons had consumed country liquor which was doubted to be spurious and was manufactured and sold by Sanjay Pratap Singh and his associates.
A Bhojpur court had on July 24, 2018, held 14 accused persons including Sanjay Pratap Singh guilty of the offences under various sections of the IPC, Excise Act and SC/ST Act and awarded sentence of life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000 to each accused person, it said. (ANI)