Thu. May 23rd, 2024

“Frozen Fortunes: ED Seizes Rs. 41.9 Crore FDs Belonging to TN Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi” – indiansupdate

IANS, July 18, Tuesday in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister and leader of the DMK, K. Ponmudi, had his fixed deposits held by the Enforcement Directorate, totaling Rs 41.9 crore.

In a news release, the ED explained that on Tuesday, cash totaling Rs 81.7 lakhs and overseas currency (British pound) up to Rs 13 lakh had been taken from the Higher Education Minister’s house and other locations. Since Monday morning, the ED has been conducting inspections at the homes of Ponmudi, his son, DMK MP Gautham Sigamani, and others.

At the ED regional office at Sastri Bhavan, the minister and his son are now being investigated. The pair was initially investigated on Monday night after being taken into custody by the ED. The next morning, Tuesday, they were freed.

According to an ED officer, the investigation centres on the alleged prohibited issue of red sand mining permits at five locations by Ponmudy, who at the time served as the Minister of Mines, to his son, close family members, and benami holders.

The official said that the profits from forbidden mining were stacked via many transactions and accounts before being put in benami accounts.

Eventually, Universal Business Ventures FZE in the UAE and PT Excel Mengindo in Indonesia were bought. The Indonesian business had been shown to have cost just Rs. 41.57 lakh when it was bought, but it was sold for more than Rs. 100 crore. According to the official, it is believed that significant amounts of money were sent through hawala and utilised to acquire these foreign companies.

Many harmful papers have been discovered, removed, and are now being examined. According to Section 17(1A) of the PMLA, a money of Rs 41.9 crore that has been declared to be the direct proceeds of crime has been froze.

It should be noted that Ponmudi is the second member of M.K. Stalin’s Cabinet to undergo ED questioning. Senthil Balaji, a state minister (without a portfolio), is being detained at the Puzhal Central Jail in Chennai after being taken into custody by the ED in June.

M.K. Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, had contacted K. Ponmudi and instructed him to conduct the ED investigation bravely and lawfully. The Chief Minister was present at the major opposition unity conference in Bengaluru.