In a first, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed as many as eight money laundering cases into alleged financial irregularities in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in Uttar Pradesh.
The central probe agency registered a criminal FIR (called Enforcement Case Information Report) by taking cognisance of the CBI complaint in this centrally-sponsored scheme which guarantees a minimum number of days of employment to an individual in a rural area.
This is the first time that the ED has registered a criminal complaint in this social welfare scheme aimed to benefit the poor across the country.
The probe period, by the ED, is between 2007-10 in six districts of the state -- Balrampur, Gonda, Mahoba, Sonebhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar and Mirzapur. During this period BSP leader Mayawati was the Chief Minister.
"Eight separate FIRs have been filed by the agency under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). A number of government officials have been charged.
Notices for questioning will soon be issued," sources said.
The ED, sources said, will look into the "proceeds of crime" of the laundering amount of Rs 12 crore which the CBI has alleged to have been fraudulently utilised in lieu of implementation of the MNREGA in these selected districts.
CBI after registering the cases early this year had carried out searches at numerous locations in UP, documents of which the ED would now be obtaining from its sister agency.