New Delhi: As Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Karnal Singh retires on Sunday, the agency revealed on Saturday that it effected record attachments of assets worth over Rs 33,500 crore and filed 390-odd charge sheets in connection with its money laundering probes in the over three-year tenure of Singh.
Singh’s post will be taken over by IRS officer SK Mishra. Singh took over the charge of the probe agency in 2015 and is credited with steering probes in some of the most high-profile cases of money laundering, foreign exchange violations and corruption.
These include the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, money laundering cases against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and son Karti Chidambaram, the politically sensitive case of Gujarat-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech, bank loan frauds involving Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the 2G spectrum allocation case, and the coal scam.
Singh has been heading the agency, both by way of additional charge and regular stint, for over three years since he was appointed to the top post in August 2015.
The 1984-batch IPS officer of Union Territories cadre has also headed the Special Cell of the Delhi Police that specialises in counter-terror operations and the September, 2008 blasts were solved, after the Batla House encounter took place, during his tenure.
The ED has a mandate to enforce two of the most stringent laws in the country — the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) — to check black money and hawala trade cases.
During the past three years, the central probe agency saw a phenomenal jump in registration of cases, attachment of assets and filing of charge sheets.
- The ED attached assets worth over Rs 33,563 crore since 2015, while the figure for the previous 10 years (between 2005-2015) was Rs 9,003 crore.
- It filed over 390 charge sheets or prosecution complaints during the same period as compared to 173 during the previous 10 years.
- It issued 565 provisional orders for attachment in the three-year period as compared to 492 in the previous decade.
- The agency also had its first five convictions in the country under the anti-money laundering law over the past three years.
- Similarly, the agency registered a record 8,452 cases under the FEMA during the same period as compared to over 9,500 during the previous 10 years.
- It completed probes in 5,495 FEMA cases during the three-year period, while 4,725 cases were done in the previous 10 years.
- Post investigations, more than 2,620 FEMA notices were issued by the agency during the past three years as compared to 2,130 during the preceding 10 years.
- The strength of the agency increased from 682 staffers to about 1,033 in the past three years.
- Singh also brought in a new policy for vigilance checks for induction of officials into the ED even as the much awaited ‘special investigation incentive’ was granted to the agency sleuths on the lines of what is given to CBI investigators.
- Six dedicated forensic labs across the country and field forensic kits to quickly clone hardware during raids were also introduced during Singh’s stint at the agency.(With PTI inputs)