ED attaches properties of ex-Jharkhand minister

Ranchi/New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has attached several properties of former Jharkhand minister Enos Ekka in connection with its probe into the multi-crore illegal investments and hawala case against him.

Official sources said the process, which was started in the middle of this year, has been completed with the Adjudicating Authority recently upholding the Directorate's move.

Sources said the Authority's decision is a boost to the investigative agency as it is in the process of attaching properties of other aides of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda. The properties are worth over Rs 100 crore.

Sources said the Ekka's properties, whose market value is worth several crores, have been undervalued on paper.

The ED has the powers to attach the property of those accused of money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Ekka, Koda and another former Minister Hari Narayan Rai are accused under a PMLA case.

Sources said besides immovable properties, the Directorate has also frozen several bank accounts in connection with the case.

Meanwhile, the ED, which has received the relevant orders from the Court in Jharkhand is in the process of attaching various properties belonging to Koda and his close associates, mainly Binod Sinha and Sanjay Chowdhary.

The ED had recently attached properties worth Rs 200 crore in connection with the same case.

Sources said while the earlier properties were primarily in Jharkhand and Bihar, the new identified properties are spread across the country, including in Maharashtra.

The properties will be sealed and a complete embargo would be issued by the Directorate against their sale and purchase as an inquiry is on against the owners -- Koda and his associates.

Koda and his associates are facing inquiries by various probe agencies like ED, I-T department, CBI and Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau regarding alleged illegal investments and hawala transactions in India and abroad.