ED attaches assets of top Maoist leaders

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate has attached movable and immovable properties, valued at Rs 68 lakh, of two top Maoist leaders, brothers Pradumn Sharma and Pramod Sharma.

The agency attached the properties of the Sharma brothers under Prevention of Money Laundering Act following more than 67 FIRs against them. Pradumn is in-Charge of Magadh zone of Special Area Committee of Bihar-Jharkhand while Pramod is the Secretary of Banawar Sub-Area Zonal Committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

The two Maoist leaders have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for collection of levy, criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder, extortion and invested the proceeds of crime in various movable and immovable assets.

This is the second such attachment made by the ED against Maoist leaders within two months. Last month, the ED had attached assets worth Rs 86 lakhs of Sandeep Yadav, another leader of CPI-Maoist.

During investigation, the ED said it has identified proceeds of crime of more than Rs 2 crore which has been laundered in several bank accounts and invested in immovable assets held in the name of family members of Pradumn and Pramod.

"Out of the total amount, properties valued at Rs 68 lakh have been attached," an ED official said.

"We have attached immovable properties worth Rs 67,16,134 of Pramod and his family. Of these one plot worth Rs 117,169 is in the name of Pramod, a house worth Rs 3,547,800, six plots worth Rs 2,662,090 in the name of his wife Shanti Devi, one plot worth Rs 389,575 in the name of his sons Barun and Tarun," an ED official said.

A motor cycle worth Rs 72,793 registered in the name of Barun has also been attached along with the available balance in the accounts of Pramod, his wife, and son, the official said.

The ED officials, close to the case, said some Chennai-based steel companies have facilitated Rs 25 lakh to Pramod for the admission of his daughter Puja Kumari into a prominent medical college.

"Puja used to fly by flight frequently. Even for recording her statement at ED office, she travelled by flight," the officials said.

Further, ED has gathered information that Rs 40 lakh have been deposited in cash in several bank accounts, Rs 67 lakh invested in purchase of immovable properties and construction of house and Rs 20 lakh spent towards coaching of his sons and daughter.

As per ED information, Pradumn has laundered his illegal wealth with the help of certain contractors and businessman.

The ED has gathered that several contractors are collecting levy and laundering on his behalf and they are also being investigated.



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