In a development that can spell trouble for Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, the Enforcement Directorate has registered a case of money laundering against the accused in the illegal sale of 21 state-owned sugar mills during her tenure as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
The sale of the sugar mills during Mayawati’s tenure in 2011-12 had led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state exchequer, officials said.
Sources confirmed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a formal case of money laundering in connection with siphoning of money earned through illegal sale of sugar mills in the state.
The ED sleuths had reportedly collected certified copies of documents and wealth recovered during the recent raids by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on some suspects, including residence of former IAS officer Netram, having close proximity to Mayawati.
After registering a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the ED will now investigate whether the money earned through sale of sugar mills had been spent overseas or the black money was siphoned out of the country and later brought back as earnings through other means.
It may be mentioned here that the CBI is already probing the alleged irregularities in the sale of 21 state-owned sugar mills during Mayawati’s regime.
The agency has already registered FIR and six preliminary enquires to probe the alleged irregularities.
Present Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recommended a CBI probe in the matter.
The agency has not named any official of Uttar Pradesh government or any politician of the state as accused, officials said.
Seven private persons, who had allegedly submitted forged documents during the purchase of the mills of UP State Sugar Corporation Ltd. have been booked by the agency.
The UP government had sought a CBI investigation into the sale of the 21 sugar mills, and forgery and cheating in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmiganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki, the officials said.
It is alleged that the Mayawati-led government had sold the 21 mills, including 10 operational ones, below market price, which led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state exchequer, the officials said.