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ED secures conviction in money laundering case linked to wildlife crime

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A man involved in smuggling of tiger body parts has been convicted under the anti-money laundering law and sentenced to 4 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 10,000, the ED said on Friday.

This is possibly the first conviction under the stringent criminal law of PMLA in a case emerging out of the wildlife Act in the country.

The agency has secured convictions in about a dozen cases till now since the Act was implemented in 2005.

The ED files a money laundering case taking cognisance of a predicate offence registered under various laws of the IPC.

The federal probe agency said in a statement that the court of Additional Session Judge, Patiala House here held Surajbhan alias Sarju guilty under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and ordered for the confiscation of assets worth Rs 52.7 lakh that were attached by the Enforcement Directorate during the course of investigation in this case.

The conviction came after over four years the ED filed a money laundering case against Surajbhan, Naresh alias Lala and Surajpal alias Chacha, taking cognisance of a Delhi Police FIR that was filed against the accused under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

A case was filed by the ED in 2013 after the trio were apprehended by the Delhi Police for carrying tiger body parts in a car.

On September 9, the court sentenced Surajbhan to four years in rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 10,000 while Naresh was acquitted.

The third man Surajpal died during the course of trial, it said.

The agency filed its first charge sheet in the case in March, 2015 followed by a supplementary in December next year.

"The special court found the accused Surajbhan guilty and ordered confiscation of attached assets," the agency said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, September 13 2019. 14:20 IST