Punjab Chief Minister’s Nephew Sent To Probe Agency Custody Till Feb 11

Punjab Chief Minister’s Nephew Sent To Probe Agency Custody Till Feb 11

Chief Minister Charanjit Channi is also the Congress’ CM face in the upcoming Punjab elections.


A local court on Tuesday sent Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, the nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till February 11 in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal sand mining in the border state, official sources said.

Honey was arrested by the central investigation agency on February 3 and was remanded to ED custody till Tuesday.

He was produced before the district and sessions court on expiry of his custody. The court continued his custody with the agency till February 11, the sources said.

The ED sought extension of Honey’s custody from the court, saying it wanted to confront him with various documents.

Honey is the son of Mr Channi’s sister-in-law and he is in ED custody till Tuesday.

The Congress, soon after the arrest last week, had hit out at the BJP for its “political gimmicks” by unleashing the ED against the chief minister and his relatives, alleging the saffron party is taking revenge on the people of the state for extending their support to the farmers’ agitation.

The ED action began last month on January 18 after it conducted raids against Honey and others and seized about Rs 7.9 crore cash from his premises and another about Rs 2 crore cash from a linked person identified as Sandeep Kumar.

The agency had said in a statement on Monday that it has recorded the statements of Kudratdeep Singh, Honey, Honey’s father Santokh Singh and Sandeep Kumar during the searches and it was “established” that the seized Rs 10 crore “belonged to Bhupinder Singh s/o Santokh Singh”.

“Further, Bhupinder Singh accepted that he received the seized cash in lieu of facilitation in sand mining operations and transfer/postings of officials,” the ED claimed.

It said Honey was issued summons for his personal appearance before the agency on February 3 along with some documents. “In response, he appeared and tendered his statement, wherein he, inter-alia, stated that he is involved in the mining-related activities, but took an evasive approach when confronted with incriminating data,” it said.

Honey, Kudratdeep Singh and Sandeep Kumar are stated to be the directors of a company called Providers Overseas Consultants Pvt Ltd that was raided by the ED last month in poll-bound Punjab.

Single phase assembly polls will be held in the state on February 20 and Mr Channi has been declared the Congress chief ministerial candidate.

The counting of votes in Punjab is slated to be held on March 10 along with four other states.

The money laundering case was filed by the ED in November last year after taking cognisance of a Punjab Police (Rahon police station, Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar) FIR of 2018 that pressed charges under various sections of the IPC and that under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act, 1957 to probe allegations of illegal sand mining.

In this police FIR, the ED said, it was mentioned that a team comprising officials of mining department, civil administration and police made a surprise check in March 2018 based on a complaint received at the Rahon police station 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,” he said. 

“Accordingly, several tippers/trucks, porcelain machines, JCB machines etc. were captured and seized by the investigating team. The seized tipper or trucks were also found to be overloaded with sand,” the ED quoted the police FIR.

The seized weighment slips having office stamps had not been issued by the office concerned and were forged. Subsequently, the mining operation at Malikpur mining site (belonging to Kudratdeep Singh) and the approval of weighment slips were stopped by the team, it said.

According the FIR, the ED said, apart from Malikpur, illegal mining activities were also carried out at Burjtahl Das, Barsal, Lalewal, Mandala and Khosa.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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