In a confession before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Chartered Accountant of the recently arrested IAS officer Pooja Singhal, Suman Kumar, on Thursday said that out of the Rs 17.49 crore recovered by the probe agency in connection with the MGNREGA money fraud case, the majority of it belonged to Singhal.
The ED had arrested Kumar on May 6 after they had recovered a huge amount of cash from his house. He was being questioned before officials in Ranchi on Thursday.
“The statement of Suman Kumar taken under section 50 of PMLA during ED custody, it is stated that most of the cash amount recovered from his house belongs to Pooja Singhal, which was collected by him on her instruction. Further, he disclosed that on instructions of Pooja Singhal, he gave Rs three crores in cash to a renowned builder for purchasing the land for Pulse Hospital owned by Pooja Singhal and her family de ella, ”reads the ED documents accessed by India Today.
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The ED also alleged that the independent valuation of land and building of hospital (including one diagnostic center owned by Pooja Singhal) is more than Rs 40 crores and the value of machinery is over Rs 30 crores.
“However, in the financial records of the hospital they have declared much less valuation than above. Investigation revealed that the tainted funds were being laundered through the hospital,” said the ED.
ED also suspects that Pooja Singhal was receiving crores of rupees in bribes which were being diverted to the hospital.
In another statement, a witness confessed before the ED that, “Accused Junior Engineer Ram Binod Prasad Sinha was paying bribes to Pooja Singhal. He has confessed that on four occasions he had seen the accused Junior Engineer handing over bags containing 18-20 gaddis (bundles) of notes of Rs 500 denomination.”
In another statement, ED was told by a witness that when Pooja Singhal was holding charge of Deputy Commissioner, cash in locked bags were delivered to her on multiple occasions.
Pooja Singhal was arrested by ED on Wednesday and later the government suspended her. Her husband of her is also being questioned by the officials.
Who is Pooja Singhal and why was she arrested?
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pooja Singhal, the secretary of Jharkhand mining department, has come on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the money laundering case involving the alleged embezzlement of crores of MNREGA funds in the state.
Prior to this, Pooja Singhal was working as Agriculture Secretary in the BJP government. She is a 2000 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and was posted as the deputy commissioner in Khunti district earlier.
Singhal will remain in ED’s custody for five days.