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ED set to take possession of tainted assets

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on August 14, 2015 with No Comments

Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India is set to take possession of assets worth Rs 15 crore belonging to a prime accused in a ‘Vyapam’ scam case in Madhya Pradesh.

The agency, which attached the properties of the alleged mastermind Jagdish Sagar in this case in March this year, got confirmed yesterday the order from the Adjudicating Authority of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based in Delhi.

The Authority is the first appellate authority and quasi-judicial body established to decide on attachment orders issued by the central probe agency under stringent anti-money laundering laws.

“The Authority has ruled in favour of the agency in this case. The agency will soon take possession of these assets and enforce prohibitory orders under PMLA. Notices would be stuck on the said assets,” a leading daily from India quoted its source as saying.

The agency’s office in Indore had attached about 21 acres of land, four luxury cars and jewellery and cash worth Rs 3.33 crore in the name of Sagar and the estimated market value of these assets is about Rs 15 crore, they said.

The Special Task Force (STF) of state police had named Sagar and two others as the alleged mastermind of the MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), ‘Vyapam’ in Hindi, scam which pertains to fraudulent selection of candidates to state government services and professional courses.

The agency had registered a criminal FIR in this case in March last year and named former state Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma and 27 others in its criminal complaint. The MPPEB scam was unearthed in July, 2013 by Indore Police with the arrest of “Munnabhais” (scorers) who appeared for original candidates in Pre-Medical Test (PMT) examination conducted by the Board.

Later, the government handed over the case to STF for in-depth investigations and recently CBI has been entrusted with the investigations in this case. During investigations, it also came to light that the scam involves other examinations including for recruitment of contractual teachers, patwaris and transport inspectors and others.

The STF, under the supervision of SIT, has filed a few charge sheets against the accused. Sources said the agency is set to attach more assets soon.

 

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