The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday stated it has seized over Rs 133 crore belonging to former Odisha MLA Jitendra Nath Patnaik, popularly referred to as Jitu Patnaik, in reference to a case of cash laundering. Between 2000 and 2014, Patnaik represented the Champua constituency in Odisha as an Independent MLA.
In a observation, the company stated, “ED has carried out search operations at various offices and residential premises of Jitendra Nath Patnaik and related entities at Joda, District — Keonjhar and Bhubaneswar — under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Patnaik has allegedly derived undue pecuniary advantage by way of illegal mining without necessary statutory approvals.”
During the searches, the ED claimed to have seized Rs 70 lakh in money and 124 fastened deposits amounting to Rs 133.17 crore with the exception of “various incriminating documents and digital evidences”. The central company additionally initiated a cash laundering investigation at the foundation of an FIR and chargesheet filed via the State Vigilance Cell of Odisha in opposition to Patnaik and others.
“As per the chargesheet filed by the State Vigilance, the accused indulged into illegal mining for a long period causing huge loss to the government exchequer which amounts to more than Rs 130 crore. Thus, ED has been able to recover almost the entire amount of proceeds of crime,” the observation stated.