ED recovers Rs 20-30 crore cash from domestic help ‘linked’ to Jharkhand minister’s secretary

Ranchi, May 6 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate on Monday claimed to have recovered an estimated Rs 20-30 crore “unaccounted” cash during searches at the premises of a domestic help allegedly linked to the secretary of Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam, official sources said.

About Rs 3 crore cash was separately recovered by the central agency from some other premises being searched, the sources said.

Videos and photos shared by the sources showed officials of the agency taking out wads of currency notes from large bags in a room located in a building at Gadikhana Chowk here.

Some central force security personnel were also seen.

A domestic help of Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alam’s personal secretary Sanjiv Lal is alleged to be residing at this location.

When contacted by PTI, Alam said, “I have no official information regarding this so far.” “I have been watching TV and it says the premises are linked to the official PS (private secretary) provided to me by the government,” he added.

Alam (70) is a Congress leader and represents the Pakur seat in the Jharkhand assembly.

ED sources said a total of eight note-counting machines have been deployed to count the cash to ascertain the exact amount which could range between Rs 20-30 crore.

Visuals show large trunks being taken inside the location so that the cash can be taken out after seizure.

A total of six premises are being searched as part of the operation, and from two premises the agency has recovered Rs 2.93 crore and Rs 10 lakh each, the sources said.

The cash is largely in the denomination of Rs 500 and some jewellery has also been recovered, they added.

The searches are linked to a money laundering case against the former chief engineer of the rural works department, Veerendra Kumar Ram, who was arrested by the ED last year.

“Veerendra Kumar Ram, posted as chief engineer in the Rural Works Department in Ranchi, had generated proceeds of crime in the name of commission from contractors in lieu of allotment of tenders to them,” the agency had alleged in a statement issued last year in April after it attached assets worth Rs 39 crore of the officer.

“The proceeds of crime thus generated were used by Veerendra Kumar Ram and his family members to live a very lavish lifestyle,” it said.

The money laundering case against Ram stems from a complaint of the Jharkhand anti-corruption bureau (ACB).

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