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ED arrests ex-INLD MLA Dilbag Singh, aide in illegal mining money laundering probe

Dilbag Singh, a former legislator of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) from Yamuna Nagar, and his aide were apprehended under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The arrests follow an earlier raid on Singh and Congress MLA Surender Panwar on January 4.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Chandigarh Published on: January 08, 2024 15:59 IST
Dilbag Singh
Image Source : X/@DILBAGSINGHYNR Former Haryana MLA Dilbag Singh.

Former Haryana MLA Dilbag Singh and his associate Kulwinder Singh were apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate on Monday as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering linked to illegal mining activities. Dilbag Singh, who served as a legislator for the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) from the Yamuna Nagar assembly seat, and his aide were taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This development follows a raid by the agency on Singh and Congress MLA Surender Panwar from Sonipat on January 4, and the search operation concluded after five days on Monday.

The Enforcement Directorate discovered at least five "illegal" rifles, 300 bullets and cartridges, over 100 liquor bottles, and Rs 5 crore in cash during the searches conducted at the premises of Dilbag Singh and other connected individuals. The seized items and currency form part of the ongoing investigation into alleged illegal mining-related money laundering.

The genesis of the money laundering case lies in multiple FIRs filed by Haryana Police, investigating instances of unauthorized extraction of boulders, gravel, and sand in Yamunanagar and surrounding districts. These activities reportedly continued beyond the lease expiry period, despite a ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal.

Apart from the illegal mining aspect, the Enforcement Directorate is delving into a suspected fraud associated with the 'e-Ravana' scheme. Introduced by the Haryana government in 2020, this online portal aimed to streamline the collection of royalties and taxes while preventing tax evasion in mining areas. The alleged fraud in the implementation of the 'e-Ravana' scheme is now under the scrutiny of the central agency.

Dilbag Singh and Kulwinder Singh are scheduled to be produced before a local court, where the Enforcement Directorate is expected to seek further custody for interrogation and legal proceedings. The arrests and the subsequent probe signify a concerted effort to address financial irregularities and money laundering connected to illegal mining operations and related government schemes in Haryana.

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