New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against liquor mafia Sanjay Pratap Singh and others in connection with a hooch tragedy in which 21 people lost their lives in Bihar’s Ara district in December 2012.
Singh has already been convicted in the case and is serving life imprisonment.
The ED officials on Friday said that the agency had filed the charge sheet against Singh before a Special PMLA court in Patna. It has sought punishment to the accused and confiscation of assets totalling to Rs 1.32 crore belonging to him, his wife, Kiran Devi and his associate, Srikumar Singh.
Earlier, the ED had attached the immovable properties of Sanjay Pratap Singh, which includes 15 landed plots along with construction on two plots held in the name of Singh and his associates. Also confiscated were the balances in the bank accounts held in the name of Singh and his unregistered firm, Maa Construction.
The ED registered a case under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of an FIR registered at Ara’s Nawada police station on December 7, 2012 against Singh and others.
During the Bihar Police investigation, it was revealed that deceased persons had consumed country liquor, which was doubted to be spurious and manufactured/sold by Singh and his associates.
The ED said, during investigation, it was revealed that Singh had invested the proceeds of crime generated through illegal trade of the country made liquor for acquiring immovable properties in his name and in the name of his wife, who has no independent source of income.
The ED also alleged that in 2011, with intention to legalize his tainted income from the country made liquor, Singh formed an unregistered firm namely Bhojpur Wine Traders to launder proceeds of crime.
The investigation also revealed that the accused used the proceeds of crime into the construction business, namely Maa Construction where the ill-gotten money was used for acquisition of immovable property.
A local court in Ara in 2018 held 14 accused persons, including Singh guilty of the offences and awarded them a life sentence with a fine of Rs 25,000 to each accused person.