Chartered Accountant Sumon Kumar alleged that most of the Rs 17.49 crore recovered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 6 belonged to IAS Pooja Singhal. Kumar told the agency during interrogation in Ranchi.
The ED on Wednesday night arrested Jharkhand Mines Secretary Pooja Singal in a money laundering case involving embezzlement of crores of rupees from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and other suspicious transactions in Khunti.
He was taken into custody under the criminal section of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after two days of interrogation by the central agency. Singal was not the only one arrested in the case as the central agency also arrested Sumon Kumar, a chartered accountant and financial adviser associated with the IAS officer and her husband on May 7.
The ED recovered about Rs 17 crore in cash from Kumar’s premises during the May 6 operation. According to the ED, the IAS officer transferred Rs 16.57 crore from his “personal account” under the control or ownership of CA Kumar.
Sumon Kumar’s statement, taken under Section 50 of the PMLA while in ED custody, said that most of the cash recovered from his house belonged to Pooja Singal, who had collected it under his direction. He paid Rs 3 crore in cash to the famous builder to buy the land for the owned Pulse Hospital, ”read ED documents accessed by India Today TV.
The agency further alleged that an independent assessment of the hospital land and building, including a diagnostic center owned by Pooja Singal, revealed that it was worth more than Rs 400 crore. The value of the equipment is more than 30 crore rupees
“However, in the financial records of the hospital they have declared a much lower valuation as above. The investigation has revealed that the stigmatized funds were smuggled through the hospital,” ED said.
The ED suspects that the IAS officer received crores of rupees in bribes which were removed through the hospital.
In another statement, a witness told ED that the accused junior engineer Ram Binod Prasad Sinha was bribing Pooja Singal.
Another eyewitness told the agency that when Pooja Singal was the deputy commissioner, he was given cash in a locked bag more than once.
(With input from Munish Pandey)
Read more: IAS Pooja Singal sent to ED custody in money laundering case