ED arrests CM Charanjit Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey in illegal sand mining case

The Law Enforcement Directorate arrested Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew, Bhupinder Singh Honey, on charges of money laundering, in the illegal sand mining case on Thursday evening.

Honey was placed under arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by ED officials in Punjab after almost eight hours of questioning.

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Last month, ED had carried out house searches of Honey and others in Mohali, Ludhiana, Rupnagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Pathankot.

More than Rs 10 crore in cash as well as alleged incriminating documents related to sand mining, real estate transactions, mobile phones, gold worth Rs 21 lakh and a Rolex watch worth one worth Rs 12 lakh were found and seized after the searches by ED officials.

Sources say out of Rs 10 crore, Rs 7.9 crore was seized from the premises linked to Bhupinder Singh Honey while Rs 2 crore was seized from the house of another suspect Sandeep Singh.

Investigations by the Law Enforcement Branch revealed that Bhupinder Singh, Kudratdeep Singh and Sandeep Kumar are directors of Providers Overseas Services Private Limited. All three are being investigated on charges of money laundering around an illegal sand mining racket. It is suspected that shell companies were used to launder money and illegally mine sand.

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The company was established in October 2018. Six months later, an FIR was filed in the illegal sand mining case against Kudratdeep Singh. The ED suspects that black money was invested in securing contracts for the sand mine. The company being launched, according to sources, is very small in size and unlikely to get a contract worth millions of dollars.

Along with the trio, Pinjore Royalty Company, his partners – Kanwarmahip Singh and Manpreet Singh – Sunil Kumar Joshi, Jagveer Inder Singh, Randeep Singh and Sandeep Kumar are questioned by the financial polling agency for their alleged role in the mining case illegal sand. .

ED had initiated the money laundering investigation based on an FIR registered by the Punjab Police in 2018 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and violation of the Mining and Mining Act. minerals (development regulation).

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On March 7, 2018, a team consisting of officials from the Mining Department, Civil Administration and Police Department carried out a surprise check based on a complaint received at SBS Nagar Police Station in Punjab regarding the mining illegal sand.

The team discovered that several mines were being dug by various machines and that mining was taking place beyond the designated area. Thus, several tipper trucks, porcelain machines and JCB machines were captured and seized by the team of investigators. The dumpsters seized were also found to be overloaded with sand. The weigh slips seized bearing the stamps of the office would not have been issued by the office concerned and would have been falsified.

Subsequently, mining at the Malikpur site was stopped and the approval of weigh slips was also dropped by the team. According to the FIR, besides Malikpur in Punjab, illegal mining activities have also been carried out in Burjtahl Das, Barsal, Lalewal, Mandala and Khosa.

Honey will appear in court today (Friday) seeking custody in this case.

In the past, opposition parties in Punjab have accused the state government of aiding those involved in illegal sand mining. In December 2021, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that illegal sand mining was thriving in Chamkaur Sahib, CM Channi’s own constituency.

The Punjab chief minister, however, had alleged that the ED was working at the behest of the BJP, an allegation denied by the agency.

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