NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized fixed deposits (FDs) worth Rs 133 crore and cash to the tune of Rs 70 lakh of former Odisha MLA Dr Jitendra Nath Patnaik in connection with a money-laundering probe involving illegal mining.
The official said that cash and 124 fixed deposits were seized after the agency sleuths carried out searches at several premises linked to Dr Patnaik in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar and Keonjhar under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED also seized various incriminating documents and digital evidence.
The ED official said that Dr Patnaik, an ex-MLA of Champua assembly constituency, has allegedly derived undue pecuniary advantage by way of illegal mining without necessary statutory approvals.
The ED case is based on the FIR and chargesheet filed by Odisha’s state vigilance cell against Patnaik and others.
As per the charge sheet filed by the state vigilance, the accused indulged in illegal mining for a long period causing a huge loss to the government exchequer which amounts to more than Rs 130 crore.
“Thus, ED has been able to recover almost the entire amount of proceeds of crime,” the official added.