New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at the premises of 18 bureaucrats across nine states for their alleged violation of the government's demonetisation scheme and involvement in money laundering and other cases, an official said.
The agency took the step under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the officials, including those working in central public sector units and state governments.
It had registered cases under the PMLA against these officials on the basis of FIRs registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), state Vigilance Departments and other law enforcement agencies.
"We have conducted raids on the premises of 18 bureaucrats in Delhi, Goa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu," an Enforcement Directorate official said.
"These bureaucrats are involved in different cases related to money laundering, violation of demonetisation and helping shell companies," he added.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Directorate conducted raids on the officials of the rank of Director General (Health), Project Engineers and Director of Jal Nigam, who are accused in a Smarak case and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) cases, causing losses of over Rs 2,000 crore to the state government. It also raided former Noida Chief Engineer Yadav Singh.
"In the Smarak case, only the government servants caused Rs 1,400 crore loss to the Uttar Pradesh government. In the cases involving Yadav Singh and NRHM, the agency till now has attached assets over Rs 20 crore and Rs 250 crore, respectively," the official said.
The agency also carried out searches at the premises of an Indian Administrative Service officer in West Bengal, who is alleged to have released Rs 60 crore through falsification of tender documents.
In Delhi, the Directorate raided the premises of three retired officers of the State Trading Corporation (STC), who allegedly allowed transactions between the STC and private parties causing huge losses to the corporation.
"They had also approved credit limits to private parties against the interests of STC," the official said.
In Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh, the agency carried out searches against bank officials for allegedly misusing their position.
In Goa, the agency took action against a former Principal Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department who is believed to have helped the then Chief Minister for concealing the main noting file of awarding of JICA consultancy in the state.
The agency searched the premises of the Chief Fire Officer in Rajasthan Government, who had earlier been booked by the state's Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) for accepting a bribe for issuance of No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to a hospital.
New currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination amounting to Rs 41.06 lakh were recovered by the Rajasthan ACB from his premises post demonetisation.
Some officials of the Employees Provident Fund Office in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were also searched by the agency, as they were involved in financial irregularities.
In Karnataka, the agency searched the premises of a former Managing Director of Kaveri Neeravari Nigam Limited (Irrigation Corporation).
The ED also conducted searches at an Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer's premises in Hyderabad, who had allegedly committed irregularities to the tune of Rs 8 crore.