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Chhattisgarh: Extended custody of bureaucrat Sameer Bishnoi in money laundering case, accused of extortion case

Pankaj Prasad
Chhattisgarh Money laundering case
Chhattisgarh Money laundering case

Faisal Rizvi, the counsel for Laxmikant Tiwari, one of the accused in the extortion case, said the alleged accused were produced before the court on the expiry of their eight-day ED custody.

Raipur: A special court in Raipur has extended the custody of businessman Sunil Agarwal and Laxmikant Tiwari, including bureaucrat Samir Bishnoi, in the Chhattisgarh money laundering case. The court has extended the custody of all three by six days. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating the extortion case from coal and mining transporters and at present these three accused are in the custody of the ED. Raipur Additional District and Sessions Judge Justice Ajay Singh Rajput has extended the custody of IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi, businessman Sunil Agarwal and one Laxmikant Tiwari.

ED arrested on October 13

Faisal Rizvi, the counsel for Laxmikant Tiwari, one of the accused in the extortion case, said the alleged accused were produced before the court on the expiry of their eight-day ED custody. He said the defense lawyers opposed the ED's plea for extension of custody. The ED had on October 13 arrested bureaucrat Sameer Bishnoi, Sunil Agarwal and coal baron Suryakant Tiwari's uncle Laxmikant Tiwari, who are absconding after raids conducted in several cities in the state on October 11 under the Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Sameer Bishnoi is the IAS officer of 2009

According to media reports, Sameer Bishnoi, a 2009 batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, was working as the CEO of Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society. Mahasamund district lawyer Laxmikant Tiwari is the uncle of coal baron Suryakant Tiwari, whose properties were also seized during searches. The investigating agency ED also raided Laxmikant's residence in Mahasamund town. Sunil Aggarwal, director of the Indramani Group, associated with the coal business, is said to have a close relationship with Suryakant Tiwari. He has been in the coal business for over a decade and reportedly has links with senior politicians.

Recovery of two-three crores was being done daily

The ED, in a release issued on October 14, had claimed that a major scam was taking place in coal transportation in Chhattisgarh, under which a 'cartel' of politicians, officials and others allegedly ran a 'parallel system of illegal extortion'. Had been. These people have been extorting about Rs 2-3 crore daily through levy. The probe agency alleged that unaccounted cash worth Rs 47 lakh and 4 kg gold jewelery were found from Sameer Bishnoi and his wife during the raids.

Unaccounted cash recovered in raid

The money laundering probe was initiated after the ED took cognizance of a complaint by the Income Tax Department. The ED claimed that the main kingpin of the scam is Suryakant Tiwari (asked to be on the run) and his associates, who were involved in a criminal conspiracy to run a parallel system of extortion of illegal levies on coal. These were illegal collection and accumulation of unaccounted cash. The agency had said that it has seized unaccounted cash, gold jewellery, bullion and other valuables worth around Rs 2 crore worth about Rs 4.5 crore during the raids.