ED attaches assets worth ₹1,621.93 cr. in coal block case

The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth about ₹1,621.93 crore in connection with a fraudulent coal block allocation case against Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited. The company had been allotted the Chitrapur coal block in Jharkhand.

The provisionally attached properties include one bio-mass power plant, two captive thermal power plants, one ferro alloys plant and direct reduced iron plant, besides parcels of land located in in West Bengal’s Durgapur and Saraikela in Jharkhand.

The ED’s money laundering probe is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in January 2016, against Corporate Ispat Alloys, its promoters and others, alleging criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct by the accused persons for getting the coal block.

It is alleged that the company misrepresented facts to get the Chitrapur coal block allotted. Huge capital was later infused into Corporate Ispat Alloys in form of equity shares so as to derive and obtain benefits from the coal block. The shares were allotted at a high premium. “This entire infusion of ₹1,896-crore capital was done with an intention and in anticipation of undue benefits to be derived…in future,” said the agency.

The funds raised through the issue of share capital were further invested in fixed assets and projected as untainted property and given a colour of genuine business investment. However, as alleged, the entire process – starting with the application for getting a coal block to being awarded the Chitarpur coal block, to raising of funds on the strength of allocation letter – was a consequence of criminal activities related to the scheduled offences.

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