Bhubaneswar: The Enforcement Directorate has carried out search operations at various offices and residential premises of former Odisha MLA Jitendra Nath Patnaik and related entities at Bhubaneswar and Keonjhar district in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case.
Patnaik, a former MLA of Champua constituency, allegedly derived undue pecuniary advantage by way of illegal mining without necessary approvals.
The ED has seized Rs 70 lakh cash and 124 fixed deposits amounting to Rs 133.17 crore during the search operations. Few incriminating documents and digital evidences were also recovered by the agency in the course of operation.
The agency initiated this investigation on the basis of FIR and charge sheet filed by the state vigilance cell of Odisha against Patnaik and others. As per the charge sheet, the accused indulged in illegal mining for a long time causing a huge loss to the government exchequer which exceeds Rs 130 crore. Thus, the ED has been able to recover almost the entire proceeds of crime.