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Former Jharkhand minister Ekka convicted for money laundering

Law Crime

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi/Ranchi 

Former Jharkhand minister Anosh Ekka was on Saturday convicted by a Jharkhand court for laundering over Rs 20 crore funds, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.

Ekka was being probed in connection with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and others.

The agency said the quantum of sentence for Ekka will be pronounced by the special PMLA court in Ranchi on March 31.

"The court convicted Anosh Ekka for being guilty of offences of money laundering to the tune of Rs 20,31,77,852 as defined under Section 3 of the PMLA and punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA," the ED said in a statement.

Ekka was minister of rural development, transport, panchayati raj and building construction in the cabinet of former CM Koda between March 12, 2005 and December 19, 2008.

The case pertains to the money-laundering probe involving Koda and others, and was initiated by the ED in September 2009 in which a number of arrests were made and assets worth hundreds of crores were attached.

This is the 11th conviction under the PMLA that was enacted in 2002 and implemented from 2005.

In 2014, the ED had attached assets located in Delhi and other places worth Rs 20.3 crore (market value Rs 100 crore) linked to Ekka.

The CBI earlier accused Ekka, his wife and others of possessing disproportionate wealth of more than Rs 16.82 crore, allegedly acquired during his ministerial term in the Koda dispensation.

Ekka has represented Kolebira in Simdega district of Jharkhand as an MLA. The seat falls under the Khunti parliamentary constituency. He then represented the Jharkhand Party (JKP).

Koda, Ekka and others were being investigated by the ED under PMLA charges for alleged possession of disproportionate assets and money laundering.

This is the second PMLA conviction in the Koda case as in 2017, former Jharkhand minister Hari Narayan Rai was sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 5 lakh by a special court in Ranchi.

The ED had charged Ekka after taking cognisance of a Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau FIR on charges of "misusing his official position and power being a public servant and acquired huge movable and immovable properties."

The ED has till now filed multiple charge sheets in this case.

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

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 20:02 IST