India arrests former BSF commandant in cattle smuggling case

News Desk:

Former BSF commandant Satish Kumar has been arrested under the anti-money laundering law in a case linked to alleged cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh international border in West Bengal, the Enforcement Directorate said on Monday, the Press Trust of India reports.

Kumar is a former commanding officer of the 36th Border Security Force battalion (BSF) that is deployed to guard the front between the two neighbouring countries.  He was suspended after being arrested by the CBI earlier in the same case and has commanded BSF units in Malda and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal.  The officer, after being taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) last week, was produced before a special court in Delhi on April 23. He was remanded to three days ED custody by the court, the agency was quoted to have said.

“He (Kumar) had received proceeds of crime of Rs 12.8 crore from Md Enamul Haque in the accounts of his wife and his father-in-law. This was further laundered and immovable properties and mutual funds were purchased,” the ED was quoted as saying in a statement.

This is the second arrest in this case, according to the report.

Haque, the prime accused in the case, was arrested by the federal agency on February 18 and is currently in judicial custody, the Press Trust of India reports.

It also filed a charge sheet or prosecution complaint before a Delhi court on April 16 and named Haque, TMC leader Vinay Mishra, his brother Vikas Mishra (arrested by the ED in an another money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam in West Bengal) and companies related to these individuals — Hoque Industries Pvt. Ltd., Hoque Mercantile Pvt. Ltd. and Anant Tradecom Pvt. Ltd. as accused in the case, according to the report.

The court of special judge Sanjay Garg took cognisance of the charge sheet on April 19 and issued summons against all the accused persons directing them to appear before it on June 1, the Press Trust of India says.

The ED case (filed on September 25, 2020) stems from a CBI FIR of September 21, 2020 registered against Kumar, Haque, Md Anarul SK, Md Golam Mustafa, some other officials of the BSF, Customs and unknown others for corruption by allegedly indulging in the crime of cross-border cattle smuggling, according to the Indian news agency report.

The ED conducted as many as two dozen raids and has attached assets worth Rs 18.5 crore in the case till now, including those in the name of Haque, Mishra brothers, BSF officer Kumar’s wife Tanya Sanyal and son Bhaskar Bhuvan, according to the Press Trust of India report.

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