Bengal cop received Rs 168 crore in coal mining scam, ED tells court | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A special court in Delhi on Wednesday extended the custody of Ashok Mishra, officer-in-charge of Bankura police station in West Bengal, in what is being seen an important turn in the politically sensitive coal smuggling case allegedly involving Trinamool politicians.
The court decided to extend Mishra’s ED custody till April 12 based on “disclosures” made by police officer which the anti-money laundering agency cited to argue that it be allowed to keep him in order to track the beneficiaries of the huge coal mining scam involving the loss of hundreds of crores to the exchequer.
Mishra, arrested by the ED in the national Capital on April 4, has been accused of receiving about 300350 cartons containing about Rs 168 crore of illegal cash during May-September 2020 from a coal mafia.
Sources said the suspended cop has been very “cooperative”, something the ED repeated in court on Wednesday in order to hold on to Mishra for another week, and has shared with investigators details of how scam money running into several crores was sent to Thailand and London.
The scam, allegedly masterminded by one Anup Majhi, has taken on political significance because of his links with Vinay Mishra, a TMC functionary who is said to be very close to CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
In its application for Mishra’s remand, the ED claimed the cop was evasive on the total money he had received from the coal mafia in Purulia-Bankura till he was confronted with vouchers showing he had received about Rs 168 crore.
The former SHO later said he had acted as per the “instructions” of Vinay Mishra, the ED claimed. “Evidences are there about him receiving Rs 168 crore in just 109 days from Anup Majhi for his political bosses, including Vinay Mishra,” the agency told the court.
Before he was arrested, Mishra had refused to appear before the ED despite six summonses. The ED’s allegations are sure to be fuel for the already intense fight between TMC and BJP in the assembly polls. BJP has cited arrests of Vinay Mishra and Ashok Mishraas evidence of its charge of corruption against the TMC government, and the latter has hit back by accusing the Centre of misusing probe agencies to settle political scores.

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