New Delhi, January 4 (IANS): The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) said on Tuesday that it had provisionally seized assets worth Rs 3.36 crore belonging to Panna Lal Mahto alias Ganjhu and others as part of the provision of ‘a case of prevention of money laundering linked to human trafficking offenses.
âThe attached properties include five plots of land in Argora, Ranchi, four plots of land in Khunti district, cash deposits of Rs 17.71 lakh in various bank accounts and a Toyota Fortuner vehicle,â an official said. the ED.
The official said the Khunti Jharkhand District Anti-Trafficking Unit (AHTU) filed two FIRs against Panna Lal Mahto and his accomplices in connection with human trafficking. They later filed an indictment about it.
The ED opened a money laundering investigation on the basis of these FIRs and the indictment.
Further, the case was picked up by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ranchi, Jharkhand, who also filed an indictment under various sections of the IPC Interstate Migrant Workers Act. (regulation of employment and conditions of service) and juvenile justice (care and protection) Act.
The ED discovered in its investigation that Panna Lal Mahto and his accomplices were carrying out a human trafficking racket under the guise of several employment agencies in Delhi.
They also used to illicitly trade in poor and innocent people (including minors) from different parts of Jharkhand under the pretext of providing them with jobs in Delhi. The defendants trafficked them to different states as servants and for other purposes. They never paid their victims what was promised to them.
âThese employment agencies were operating unlicensed under the Delhi Private Employment Agencies Order 2014 (Regulation). , 1979. Panna Lal Mahto and his accomplices mistreated the victims and did not allow them to return to their respective native villages and forced them to work against their will, “said the official.
He said that by committing the scheduled offense, Panna Lal Mahto, alias Ganjhu, in collusion with others, had trafficked around 5,000 people through the well-organized racketeering of his Delhi employment agency.
He confessed to ED that he had earned around five crore rupees.
PMLA investigation revealed that Panna Lal Mahto acquired various real estate and movable property to the tune of Rs 3.36 crore, in his name and in the name of his wife Sunita Devi and projected them as properties intact.
The ED after identifying these properties attached them.
Further investigation into the matter is underway.