ED Considering Fugitive Economic Offender Proceedings Against Vinay Mishra | Latest India News
The Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) is preparing to initiate fugitive economic offender (FEO) proceedings against former Trinamool Congressional (TMC) youth wing leader Vinay Mishra after a Delhi court declared him a “proclaimed offender” last Sunday, people close to the development said. .
This will allow the agency that investigates financial crimes to confiscate Mishra’s overseas properties.
Mishra will be the 10th of these fugitives, joining the infamous ranks of Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Iqbal Mirchi’s wife Hajra Memon and sons Junaid and Asif, Sandesara brothers Nitin and Chetan, the latter’s wife Dipti and a relative partner, Hitesh Kumar Patel.
Introduced by the government in 2018 to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, the fugitive tag empowers authorities to confiscate proceeds of crime and assets, when the amount in question is higher. ₹100 crores.
So far, these lawsuits have been filed against 14 people, nine of whom have been approved by the courts. Properties of a value ₹433 crores were seized under the law.
While seeking to have Mishra declared a convicted offender under Section 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Executive Special Prosecutor Nitesh Rana argued that “the defendant evaded non-releasable warrants and did not join the investigations” in connection with a money affair. investigation into alleged coal laundering at the Eastern Coalfields mines in Kunustoria and Kajora, West Bengal.
The federal agency alleged that Mishra, who acquired citizenship of Vanuatu, a chain of 80 islands in the South Pacific, after fleeing India in 2020, and his brother Vikas Mishra, received “proceeds of crime from ‘a value ₹730 crore on behalf of certain influential people and for themselves” in allegedly illegal coal mining. The scam is estimated at around ₹1,352 crore.
Mishra is also accused in another 2020 money laundering scandal involving cattle smuggling in West Bengal, in which charges were brought against him in April. The ED has identified proceeds of crime worth more than ₹400 crore smuggled cattle.
He alleged that cattle seized by the Border Security Force were dumped and auctioned off with the help of some customs officials to enable traders to buy them at ridiculous prices and sell them in Bangladesh. A portion of the proceeds was reportedly paid to some Trinamool congressional leaders and government officials, the law enforcement agency said.
Into the coal theft scam, the ED launched an investigation based on a Central Bureau of Investigation First Information Report filed in November 2020.
After arresting Ashok Kumar Mishra, a former Inspector in Charge of Bankura Police Station, in the case, the ED claimed in a Delhi court in April last year that the nephew of West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee had benefited from funds obtained in illegal mining, which was flourishing in West Bengal under the patronage of the ruling party.
Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira were interviewed by the agency in March and June respectively.
“The investigation revealed a deep system of political patronage and a well-oiled network through which the system was subverted to carry out these illegal activities in a brazen manner,” the ED said last year.
HT was unable to locate Mishra’s legal representative.
“We don’t want to comment on this,” said Kunal Ghosh, a spokesperson for TMC.