In a big setback to Samajwadi Party chief and former CM Akhilesh Yadav, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to register a case of money laundering in connection with illegal sand mining cases to probe the alleged roles of Akhilesh Yadav and his former cabinet colleague Gayatri Prajapati.
According to reports, the ED registered the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) days after the CBI had filed an FIR against 11 people including former CM Akhilesh Yadav in relation with the alleged illegal allotment of sand mining licences in Hamirpur between 2012 and 2016.
The ED has now registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against politicians and bureaucrats from UP for allegedly laundering proceeds of crime earned through illegal allotment of sand mining licences in Hamirpur between 2012 and 2016.
Reports citing ED sources said that the agency will now identify properties and assets created by the accused with the money earned through illegal licences and will proceed to attach these properties. The ED case will also look into the money trail and see if alleged illegal funds were earned as kickbacks in the alleged scam.
Earlier, The CBI had searched 14 locations including the premises of former IAS officers in UP and Delhi. The public servants are accused of allowing illegal mining between 2012-2016 and illegally renewing licence despite National Green Tribunal ban. The officers are accused of allowing theft of minerals, money extortion from leaseholders and drivers. Yadav, along with being the state’s chief minister, also held the mining portfolio during 2012-13. He was succeeded by Gayatri Prajapati. Gayatri Prajapati was arrested in 2017 after a Chitrakoot woman accused him of rape.
The CBI filing an FIR had said, “The role of then mining ministers concerned during relevant period may be looked into during the course of the investigation of the case.” Both Yadav and Prajapati had the charge of mining ministry between 2012 and 2016 when the alleged irregularities in the mining of minor minerals are supposed to have happened.
Following the multiple CBI raids in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as part of the probe in the illegal sand mining scam, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had accused the BJP of playing vendetta politics. Shockingly, he went on to warn the BJP that the ‘CBI raid culture’ the BJP has started will someday come to haunt them.