The Enforcement Directorate has seized a vessel worth Rs 30 crore that was being used at the direction of Pankaj Mishra, an MLA who serves Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (ED). The ED recently detained Mishra in relation to the illegal mining case. In a Tuesday operation, the ED also took the inland vessel MV Infralink-III.
In a statement, the investigation agency said that Rajesh Yadav, Pankaj Mishra, and others were operating the inland vessel illegally in Sahibganj, Jharkhand, without a permit from the Sukargarh Ghat to transport illegally mined stone chips and boulders.
In Sahibganj, the agency has also found two illegal mines, one of which is run by Bishnu Yadav and others, and the other of which includes mining that has gone beyond the leased area.
An estimated 37.5 million cubic feet of the extra area has been illegally and secretly mined. According to the ED, the processing value of the chipping stone from mines is estimated to be around Rs 45 crore.
In line with the Bengal Ferries Act of 1885 and the Indian Penal Code, the agency has filed a FIR against the vessel’s owner.