ED arrests mastermind in Una illegal mining case

New Delhi, September 28

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said that it had arrested Lakhwinder Singh, alleged mastermind of illegal mining in Una district of Himachal Pradesh, under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

In an official statement, the ED stated that Lakhwinder was arrested on September 26 under the various sections of the PMLA. He was produced before a special court in Dharamsala yesterday which sent him to in the agency's custody for five days.

"Lakhwinder Singh is the key person, who owns and controls several mining leases/sites and stone crushers in Una district. He is the mastermind and prime beneficiary of the proceeds of illegal mining," the ED said. It added that he "resorted to withholding relevant information and was misleading investigation".

The agency had recently carried out raids in a case against stone crushers owned by Lakhwinder Singh, Manav Khanna, Neeraj Prabhakar, Vishal, aka Vicky, and others at Una, Mohali in Punjab and Panchkula in Haryana in connection with illegal mining in the Swan river. The accused and some associated stone crushers and other entities in Una had carried out illegal mining to the tune of Rs 35 crore.

The ED's case under the provisions of the PMLA stems from an FIR registered by the Una police last year.

"To physically ascertain the extent of illegal mining, a joint digital survey along with state mining officials has been carried out at various sites controlled by the persons involved. The survey revealed that about 4.8 lakh cubic metre of excess mining had been carried out," the ED statement read.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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