The Enforcement Directorate has registered 11 cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the Rs 36,000-crore foodgrain scam in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the ED,which took up the probe on the Allahabad High Courts directions,free and subsidised foodgrains meant for the public distribution system and other welfare schemes were sent to neighbouring states and also exported to African countries,Bangladesh and Nepal.
Under the Act,the authorities can search and seize assets,property,cash or kind earned from the scam. The probe has so far revealed a bureaucrat-politician nexus spanning across 60 districts,the agency said.
The ED has registered cases in connection with the scam in Ballia,Gonda ,Lucknow,Varanasi and Lakhimpur Kheri and is focusing on the big fish.
Refusing to elaborate on the probe,a top ED official said,So far,we have questioned around a dozen officials alleged to be involved in the scam. Names of IAS officials,including then district magistrate and politicians,have surfaced.
We will soon summon those named. We have examined bank account details from 1997 to 2003 and have sought details from the departments concerned.
The High Court had asked the ED to investigate the money laundering part of the scam.
The agency has sought the assistance of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that had registered three cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act between 2004 and 2006.
Seven persons were chargesheeted by the agency last year. In all,the CBI was investigating 13 cases related to Ballia,Sitapur,Lucknow,Varanasi,Gonda and Lakhimpur Kheri districts.