CHANDIGARH: In what could spell fresh trouble for Congress and one of its chief ministerial faces ahead of February 20 Punjab assembly elections, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Bhupinder Honey, the nephew of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in connection with a money laundering case related to illegal mining case.
According to financial probe agency officials, Honey was arrested under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Honey had not been appearing before ED office in Jalandhar.
The arrest comes days after the ED carried out searches at several premises in several districts of Punjab in the illegal sand mining case.
The residential and business premises of the accused persons and their associates including Kudratdeep Singh, Pinjore Royalty Company and its Partners/shareholders Kanwarmahip Singh and Manpreet Singh, Sunil Kumar Joshi, Jagveer Inder Singh, Randeep Singh, Providers Overseas Consultants Pvt Ltd and its other Directors or shareholders including Bhupinder Singh and Sandeep Kumar at Mohali, Ludhiana, Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Pathankot.
The official said that during the course of search, various incriminating documents related to sand mining business, property transactions; mobile phones, Indian currency more than Rs 10 Crore, Gold worth above 21 lakhs and a Rolex watch worth Rs 12 lakhs were found and seized from the search premises.
ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered by Punjab Police under section 379, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 21(1) and 4(1) of Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act, 1957.
In the FIR, it was mentioned that a team comprising of officials of Mining Department, Civil Administration and Police Department made a surprise check on March 7, 2018 on the basis of a complaint received regarding illegal sand mining.
Consequently, it was found that several mines were being excavated by various machines and mining was being carried out beyond the designated area.