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ED uses fridge, smart TV invoices as evidence in money laundering case against Hemant Soren

ED obtained these receipts from two Ranchi-based dealers and attached those to its charge sheet filed against the 48-year-old JMM leader and four others last month

Hemant SorenRANCHI: Invoices of a refrigerator and smart TV are among the evidence the Enforcement Directorate used to support its claim that Jharkhand’s ex-chief minister Hemant Soren acquired 8.86 acres of land worth more than Rs 31 crore illegally.

The federal probe agency obtained these receipts from two Ranchi-based dealers and attached those to its charge sheet filed against the 48-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and four others last month.

The special PMLA court of Judge Rajiv Ranjan in Ranchi took cognisance of the prosecution complaint on April 4.

Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31 in a money laundering case related to the alleged land grab, shortly after he resigned as chief minister.

He is currently in judicial custody in Birsa Munda jail at Hotwar in Ranchi.

According to the ED, the two gadgets were purchased in the name of the family members of one Santosh Munda who told the agency that he has been “residing as a caretaker of the property of Hemant Soren on the said land (8.86 acres) for 14 to 15 years”.

The agency used Munda’s statement to counter Soren’s claim that he had no link with the said land.

The ED also rejected the claim of a person named Rajkumar Pahan on the piece of land, alleging that he was a “front” for Soren to keep the asset under his control.

The ED claimed that soon after Soren was issued the first summons in this case in August last year, Pahan wrote to the deputy commissioner of Ranchi stating he and some others have the land in possession and the earlier mutation in the name of other owners be cancelled and they may be saved from being evicted from their property.

The state government “restored” the land to Pahan on January 29, two days before Soren’s arrest, so that the JMM leader’s control and possession remained “unimpeded,” the ED alleged.

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