Cash seized from Ranchi flat pertains to Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam: ED

The ED had raided Alam's personal secretary Sanjeev Kumar Lal and his domestic help Jahangir Alam on May 6 and recovered a total ₹32.2 crore from a flat in the name of the latter

Updated - May 16, 2024 05:31 pm IST

Published - May 16, 2024 05:06 pm IST - Ranchi

Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam arrives at the zonal headquarter of Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with uncounted cash recovered from his Secretary Sanjeev Lal’s residence, in Ranchi, on May 15, 2024.

Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam arrives at the zonal headquarter of Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with uncounted cash recovered from his Secretary Sanjeev Lal’s residence, in Ranchi, on May 15, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The ₹32.2 crore cash seized from the Ranchi-based premise of the domestic help of a secretary of Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam "pertains" to the lawmaker and he enjoyed a fixed commission of 1.5% from every tender executed in his department, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged on May 16 .

The federal agency made this claim as it produced the 74-year-old Alam, a Congress leader from Pakur, before the court of special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Prabhat Kumar Sharma.

He was arrested on May 15 by the agency. The court sent him to six days of ED custody.

The ED had raided Alam's personal secretary Sanjeev Kumar Lal and his domestic help Jahangir Alam on May 6 and recovered a total ₹32.2 crore from a flat in the name of the latter person. The total cash seizure in this case is ₹37.5 crore.

"It is ascertained that the said seized cash of ₹32.2 crore, which was found seized from the flat in the name of Jahangir Alam...pertains to Alamgir Alam and same was collected by Jahangir Alam at the instruction of Sanjeev Kumar Lal who in turn was doing so on behalf of Alamgir Alam," the ED told the court while seeking the Minister's remand.

It said several official documents on letterheads which would have been kept under possession of Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Lal, as PS to Rural Development Department Minister Alamgir Alam, establishes that Lal was using this premise for keeping documents, records, cash and other belongings "related to" Alamgir Alam.

It is ascertained that Lal "takes care of the collection of commission" on behalf of Alamgir Alam and others, the ED alleged.

“He (Lal) also plays pivotal role in managing the tenders and collection of commission from engineers, also the said percentage of commission is distributed in a mechanised manner to higher-ups of Government. Several officials from top to bottom of rural development department are involved in this nexus and the huge payments were usually received in cash which were later laundered which needs to be unearthed,” it said.

The agency said it had arrested a former Chief Engineer of the rural development department Veerendra Kumar Ram last year.

"Ram used to collect commissions in terms of allocation of tender and execution of work and the said commission fixed share of 1.5% was distributed to minister Alamgir Alam," the ED said.

The whole process of collection and distribution of commission was taken care by the assistant Engineers posted at Rural Development Special Division and Rural Works Department, it said.

The share of Alamgir Alam was 1.5% of the allocated tender amount and also in one of the instances it was also found that Alamgir Alam has received his share of Commission of ₹3 crore which was sent by one assistant Engineer in September 2022 which was facilitated by one of the close aides Alamgir Alam," it said.

It claimed Alamgir Alam was "concealed and involved" in the acquisition and transfer of the proceeds of crime, and thus actively involved in the process of money laundering.

The money laundering case of September 2020 is based on an anti-corruption branch (Jamshedpur) case of Jharkhand Police and a March 2023 FIR filed by the economic offences wing of the Delhi Police against Veerendra Kumar Ram and some others.

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