The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a prosecution complaint, which is the equivalent to a chargesheet, against the accused in the 2012 Bihar hooch tragedy case, in which 21 people had died. It has also filed a prayer with a special court in Patna that the accused’s assets to the tune of Rs 1.32 crore be confiscated. The agency had earlier provisionally attached these properties in connection with its money laundering probe against accused Sanjay Pratap Singh, his wife Kiran Devi and his associate, Srikumar Singh in a hooch tragedy which caused death of 21 people in Ara, Nawada of Bhojpur district in the state.
The attached properties liable for confiscation include 15 landed plots along with construction on two plots held in the name of accused Singh, his associates and balances in bank accounts held in the name of Singh and his unregistered firm, Maa Construction.
The ED case is based on an FIR registered by Bihar police against Singh in 2012. “State Police investigation revealed that deceased persons had consumed country liquor which was doubted to be spurious and manufactured/sold by Sanjay Pratap Singh and his associates. The Hon’ble 1st ASJ, Bhojpur, Ara vide judgement dated 24.07.2018 held 14 accused persons including Sanjay Pratap Singh guilty of the offences under IPC, Excise Act and SC/ST Act and awarded sentence of life imprisonment with fine of Rs.25,000/- to each accused person,” the ED said in a statement.
It said its probe has revealed that Singh has invested the “Proceeds of Crime” generated through illegal trade of country liquor for acquiring immovable properties in his and his wife’s name.
“In the year 2011, with intention to legalize his tainted income from country liquor, Sanjay Pratap Singh formed an unregistered firm namely Bhojpur Wine Traders to launder Proceeds of Crime. Investigation also revealed that the accused used the Proceeds of Crime into the construction business namely Maa Construction where ill-gotten money was used for acquisition of immovable property,” ED said.
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