Illegal mining and transportation of coal may be linked to money laundering says former CM.

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Amidst the allegation of the rampant illegal transportation of coal in Meghalaya, the Congress is likely to move in a legal way against these illegalities.

Informing this, former Chief Minister and leader of opposition in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Dr. Mukul M Sangma said,  “When illegalities are going on obviously the correction has to be a legal way. “

Elaborating further, Sangma said, “There are many ways to move legally, it actually can be linked with money laundering, according to the prevention of Money laundering act, it’s a very powerful act, even hiding the assets, the investigation officers will go unearth it.”

However, he refuses to say anything further about the proposed action of the opposition party.

Dr. Mukul M. Sangma on Thursday visited Nengkra in East Garo Hills. During his visit, Dr. Sangma inspected the coal depot as he pointed out that the coal deposit in the dumping area was about 5000 Metric tonnes and the projected 34,000 Metric tonnes are likely to be ‘illegally’ transported.

“Visible before us will be around 5000 MT of coal, the total quantity indicated in the public auction notice is 34K Metric Tonnes of coal,” he pointed out.

Speaking to media at Nengkra, Dr. Sangma said, “Modus operandi which is going on involving all concern for facilitating the continuation of illegal mining and illegal transportation. Now if there were 34 thousand MT of coal here and if it is not here then either it has been either illegally transported without paying of the royalty to the Government or the coal was not there in the first place”.

He further alleged that challans for 34 k MT were issued by the DMR and it is also ‘interesting’ that the route for transport was from Nengkhra to Nongstoin via Ri Bhoi. He further questioned why the long route was used for transportation of coal when the nearest railway station was Jogighopa in Goalpara district of Assam.

“This is the trade route for all the businessman involves in coal trading and even coal from West Khasi Hills also prefer this route,” he pointed out.

 Alleging there is patronage by the people in the authority which emboldens the people engages in these illegalities, Dr. Sangma said, “I will be writing to the Chief Secretary and in response to which I expect the CS to proceed as per law.”

“ There is a need to send a strong message otherwise people who are engaging in these illegalities are getting embolden because it is likely that there is patronage, unless there is patronage by people in authority you cannot have this kind of illegalities happening in the state of Meghalaya,” he said.

Slamming the Chief Minister for his continuous denial, the legislator from Songsak said, “In spite of the people trying to draw the attention of the Government and the Chief Minister himself, you have seen what was the response? There is hardly any attempt to find out to verify whether such allegations are actually carrying any substance.”

“The depth of the problem if you want to know you have to visit the sites and that’s why I have come here,” he added.

During the inspection, he found that the people living there are not aware of any public auction of coal. Stating that the question of having unclaimed coal does not arise, Dr. Sangma said the due process to declare any property as unclaimed was not followed.  EOM