Chhattisgarh: ED arrests IAS officer, 2 others in money laundering case

  • | Thursday | 13th October, 2022

Raipur, Oct 13 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi and two other people after it launched multi-city raids in the state early this week as part of a money laundering investigation, officials said.Businessman Sunil Agrawal of the Indramani group and Laxmikant Tiwari, uncle of "absconding" businessman Suryakant Tiwari, have also been taken into custody in the morning by the federal agency from state capital Raipur, they said.The three people have been arrested under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will be produced before a local court, where the ED will seek their further custody.Vishnoi, an Indian Administrative Service officer of 2009 batch, is currently working as the CEO of the Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society. He was questioned by the agency at its office in Raipur on Wednesday along with few others.The arrests came after the agency launched multiple raids in Chhattisgarh on October 11 in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal levy extorted from coal and mining transporters in the state by a purported nexus of government officials, businessmen and private entities.The agency has also sealed the residence of IAS officer and Raigarh district Collector Ranu Sahu as she was not available during the raids that began on Tuesday.Sahu is understood to have informed the agency that she was undergoing a medical procedure and has assured cooperation in the investigation.ED sources, however, said the IAS officer of 2010 batch is yet to appear at the agency"s office in Raipur "despite clear instructions" to do so.The agency has also seized Rs 4 crore cash and jewellery during the latest searches. The money laundering case stems from an Income Tax Department complaint and charge sheet filed into these instances of alleged levy extortion.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday hit out at the Centre over the ED raids, saying probe agencies should not be "misused" for political mileage or to defame the state government, its officials and politicians.Former chief minister of the state and BJP leader Raman Singh on Wednesday alleged that Baghel is an "ATM of Sonia Gandhi" and that an "illegal levy" of Rs 25 per tonne is being collected for coal transportation in Chhattisgarh. Baghel has sought an apology from Singh for the remarks.PTI NES TKP DV DV

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