February 18, 2024
ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 130.60 Crores in Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining Case
Tamil Nadu Breaking News Crime India

ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 130.60 Crores in Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining Case

ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 130.60 Crores in Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining Case

ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 130.60 Crores in Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining Case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached assets valued at approximately Rs 130.60 crores, including movable assets worth around Rs 128.34 crores, comprising 209 sand excavators used in illicit sand mining in Tamil Nadu. This action was taken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The ED initiated the investigation in 2002 based on multiple FIRs filed across Tamil Nadu and information from open sources indicating widespread unauthorized sand mining.

Key Findings and Investigation Details

The ED investigation revealed that individuals, including Shanmugam Ramachandran, Karuppaiah Rethinam, and Pannerselvam Karikalan, along with their associates, formed a syndicate and established a network of companies and firms engaged in illicit sand mining activities. The entities operated either under their names or in the names of their relatives and associates.

An examination of sand quarries in Tamil Nadu indicated instances of excessive and illegal sand mining, surpassing the recorded volume documented in the state government’s records. Geofencing reports from excavator manufacturers and suppliers confirmed that the excavators were deployed beyond permitted quarry areas, providing conclusive evidence of illegal and excessive sand mining activities.

Searches and Seizures

Earlier searches conducted by the ED at 17 locations across Chennai, Trichy, and Puddukottai resulted in the seizure of unreported cash amounting to Rs 2.33 crore, gold jewelry valued at Rs 56.86 lakh, and various pieces of incriminating evidence. Additionally, 30 bank accounts with a cumulative balance of approximately Rs 13 crore were frozen.

This provisional attachment of assets underscores the ED’s commitment to tackling illicit activities and financial offenses related to unauthorized sand mining in Tamil Nadu.

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