ED probes Trans Arunachal Highway compensation case; conducts raids

NEW DELHI, 21 Sep: The ED has launched a money laundering investigation into allegations of misappropriation of compensation funds provided by the government to those affected by the Trans Arunachal Highway Project being built in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the agency said Wednesday.

The about 2,396 km long road project aims to connect 16 districts of the state running from Tawang in western Arunachal to Kanubari in Longding district in the south-eastern part of the state.

The federal probe agency said in a statement that it carried out two search operations on September 20 in the state following which it froze, under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), fixed deposits worth Rs 3.95 crore.

The probe found, the ED said, “multiple fake beneficiaries were created by some government officials in connivance with private individuals to cause wrongful gain to themselves and loss to the government exchequer.”

“The investigation has further established that part of the proceeds of crime so generated by the accused persons were routed through several bank accounts and fixed deposits,” it said.

The money laundering case stems from a February, 2019 FIR filed by the vigilance branch of the state police, called special investigation cell (SIC), alleging some government officials in conspiracy with certain private individuals “misappropriated” the compensation funds meant for the affected persons/beneficiaries of the Trans Arunachal Highway Project, the agency said. (PTI)