Money Laundering Case: ED Arrests Cong Leader Alamgir Alam

Alamgir Alam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Congress leader and Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam in connection with a money laundering case, shortly after a significant cash seizure from locations associated with his aide.

The 70-year-old leader was apprehended at the agency’s zonal office under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Following a six-hour interrogation on the second day of questioning, he was held for further investigation. Alam had previously undergone nine hours of questioning and his statement was recorded during the process.

Personal Secretary’s Arrest

Representing the Pakur seat in the Jharkhand assembly, Alam also serves as the parliamentary affairs minister. His association with the ED investigation stemmed from the recent arrest of his personal secretary, Sanjeev Kumar Lal (52), and Lal’s domestic help, Jahangir Alam (42). The agency seized over Rs 32 crore from a flat linked to them during a raid on May 6.

Alam distanced himself from Lal’s activities, stating his compliance with the law and emphasizing his past work with other state government ministers.

Money Laundering Investigation

The money laundering probe revolves around alleged irregularities and bribery within the state rural development department. The ED, while seeking remand for the two arrested individuals, informed a special PMLA court of Lal’s involvement in collecting commissions on behalf of influential figures, suggesting the involvement of government officials at various levels within the rural department.

The total cash seizure by the ED in this case stands at approximately Rs 36.75 crore, with additional amounts found at other locations, including Rs 10.05 lakh at Lal’s residence and Rs 1.5 crore at a contractor’s premises.

Assam CM Reaction…

Reacting to the case, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, currently on a visit for the Lok Sabha poll campaign, assured that the BJP government would prevent misappropriation of public funds by Alamgir Alam.

The ED disclosed that the investigation had uncovered the involvement of “senior bureaucrats and politicians” and continued to probe further. Searches were conducted at the rural development ministry in Ranchi, with Lal accompanying ED officials.

Background of the Case

This money laundering case, dating back to September 2020, originated from an anti-corruption branch case filed by Jharkhand Police and a FIR lodged in March 2023 by the economic offences wing of the Delhi Police against former chief engineer Veerendra Kumar Ram and others. Ram, arrested by the ED last year, allegedly distributed commissions among seniors and politicians, including Lal.

Over the past 2-3 years, the ED has investigated multiple money laundering cases involving prominent individuals in the state, resulting in the arrest of former chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren, IAS officers Chhavi Ranjan and Pooja Singhal, and other politically connected figures.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte