The Enforcement Directorate on Monday attached properties worth Rs 165.86 crore of belonging to Anup Majee, the prime accused in an illegal coal mining case in West Bengal. Investigation in the case also involves Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
The attached assets include land, factory premises, plant and machinery, and other assets of two companies, Ispat Damodar Private Limited and Sonic Thermal Private Limited, according to India Today.
In a statement on Monday, the ED said that Majee transferred Rs 67.80 crore and Rs 98.06 crore to the two companies on two separate occasions, the Hindustan Times reported. He carried out the transfer under the guise of share purchase of these companies required to acquire assets of these companies, the investigation agency said.
“The investigation also found that the transfer of funds to these companies were generated through illegal coal mining and the transactions were layered through a maze of shell companies,” the ED added.
Apart from Abhishek Banerjee, another Trinamool Congress leader Vinay Mishra’s name has also come up in the investigation. His brother Vikas Mishra and a police inspector in Bankura district, Ashok Mishra, were arrested by the ED recently in relation to the case, according to the Hindustan Times.
The case pertains to illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of Eastern Coalfield Limited in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, and involves embezzlement of thousands of crores of rupees. It has been alleged that this smuggled coal was sold in the black market over a number of years by a racket operating in the western parts of the state.
The ED took up the investigation based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation last year. In February, a CBI team had visited Abhishek Banerjee’s house and issued him summons as well.