New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Saturday that it has taken possession of over a dozen immovable assets of a man who was convicted for a hooch tragedy that claimed 21 lives in Bihar in 2012.
The action was undertaken by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Sanjay Pratap Singh, his wife Kiran Devi, and associate Srikumar Singh.
A total of 15 immovable properties including an under-construction building, a brick kiln, and 13 plots worth a total of Rs 1.31 crore are involved in the case. These properties were earlier attached by the agency as part of a money laundering case filed against the accused.
Sanjay Pratap Singh and others were first booked by the Bihar Police after the hooch tragedy in which 21 people died in Ara and Nawada of Bhojpur district in Bihar by consuming poisonous alcohol in 2012.
Police investigation revealed that the victims consumed spurious liquor which was manufactured and sold by Sanjay Pratap Singh and his associates illegally, the ED alleged in a statement.
A Bhojpur court, in July 2018, held 14 people including Sanjay Pratap Singh guilty of the offenses registered under various sections of the IPC, Excise Act, and SC/ST Act and sentenced them to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000 on each accused, the agency said.
“Sanjay Pratap Singh has invested the proceeds of crime generated through illegal trade of ”desi” (local) liquor for acquiring immovable properties in his name and in the name of his wife Kiran Devi, who had no independent source of income,” the ED said.
“In 2011, with an intention to legalize his tainted income from this trade, Sanjay Pratap Singh formed an un-registered firm namely Bhojpur Wine Traders to launder the proceeds of crime,” it said.
He was the “key person” in the firm who solely managed its business affairs, it said.
Sanjay Pratap Singh also used the proceeds of crime in the construction business undertaken by a company named Maa Construction, it alleged.