Observing that “money laundering poses a serious threat not only to the financial systems of the country but also to its integrity and sovereignty”, a Delhi court sentenced a man to four-year imprisonment in a money laundering case pertaining to smuggling of tiger body parts.
Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann convicted Surajbhan under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000.
Surajbhan and two others were arrested by a joint team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch and Maharashtra Forest Department and Wildlife Control Bureau in 2013. Police had found a sack of uncured trophies of tiger parts along with Rs 2,70,000 in cash from their vehicle.
During questioning, Surajbhan disclosed the identity of the other gang members and led to the recovery of 18 tiger nails from a house in Adarsh Nagar. The ED later registered a case under the PMLA Act to investigate the proceeds of the crime.
ED Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana told the court to award appropriate sentence in the case.
While awarding the punishment, the court noted that Surajbhan, who has been in judicial custody since the trial commenced, belongs to the weaker section of society and has no regular means of income: “Judicial record shows (he) has spent time in custody more than sentence awarded… Convict Surajbhan is directed to be released henceforth, if not wanted in any other case, subject to deposit of fine.”