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West Bengal money laundering case: Special court dismisses bail plea of accused Gurupada Maji
New Delhi: A Special Court has dismissed the bail petition of Gurupada Maji, accused in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal mining scam in West Bengal.
According to ED, Gurupada Maji is one of the partners of Anup Majee, the kingpin of illegal coal mining business activities in West Bengal. Special Judge Anurag Sain in an order passed on September 20, 2022, said, "Considering the parameters of Section 45 (1) PMLA, I find no reasonable ground for believing that applicant/accused Gurupada Maji is not guilty of the alleged offences. From a prima facie view of the material placed on record and in light of the gravity of the alleged offences, it cannot be said either that the applicant/accused is not likely to commit any such offence while on bail."
While opposing the bail plea, Advocate Nitesh Rana submitted that in the investigation conducted so far, the present accused has received proceeds of crime of Rs. 89.4 Crore and thus, the accused has been involved in the commission of the offence of Money Laundering. Further accused has acquired many Kolkata-based shell companies to project POCs generated from illegal coal mining activities as untainted funds.
On August 2, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) filed a supplementary Prosecution Complaint (PC) before the Rouse Avenue Court (New Delhi) in the case of illegal coal mining case by Anup Majee and others.
In the said supplementary Prosecution Complaint, Gurupada Maji and six companies controlled by him have been arrayed as accused. Gurupado Maji was arrested by ED on 26/05/2022 and currently was in judicial custody.
ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI, Kolkata against Anup Majee, several other officials of ECL and other public servants and private persons for illegal excavation and theft of coal from the leasehold area of ECL in active connivance of the officials of ECL, CISF, Indian Railways and concerned other departments for alleged commission of a cognizable offence under various sections of IPC and Section 13(2) r/w section 13(1)(a) of the P.C. Act,1988. The total proceeds of crime identified to date is Rs. 2742.32 Crore.
Till now, POC to the tune of Rs. 204.64 have already been attached by ED vide seven Provisional attachment orders and three persons have been arrested by ED to date, said ED in a press statement. (ANI)