10/12/2014 3:22 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

ED Is Bringing In 17 New Money Laundering Cases

In this Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 photo, an Indian salesman stands by a counter at a gold jewelry shop in Mumbai, India. Gold is India’s second-biggest import behind oil, and purchases have soared in recent years as rising incomes from a decade of economic growth sent Indian consumers on a buying streak. The problem is that the greater buying of the precious metal has dealt a blow to India’s economy by increasing the flow of money out of country compared to inflows. As a result, the current account deficit rose to a historic high of 4.8 percent of India’s gross domestic product in the fiscal year that ended in March. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

New Delhi, Dec 10: Widening its probe in the coal blocks allocation scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is soon expected to register as many as 17 new criminal cases against firms spread in various parts of the country.

Sources said the agency has already scrutinised a number of documents and financial statements of these firms and it will soon register money laundering cases against them.

"Some information has been sought by the agency in this regard from the CBI which is also investigating the scam. Once all the information is shared between the two agencies, about 17 firms would be booked under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act," a senior official said.

ED has, till now, registered 16 cases under PMLA to probe these allocations even as it recently questioned former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao who has been named along with other private parties in a case.

The agency has also seized assets worth nearly Rs 200 crore as part of these investigations till now.

"Some more attachments of assets, including immovable properties and fixed deposits of those individuals and companies named in the ED FIRs, will be carried out soon," the official said.

The firms against whom the new money laundering cases would be registered are located in various states of the country like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra among others.

While the Supreme Court is monitoring the probe of both ED and CBI, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on blackmoney too is reviewing the overall investigations and coordination between the two central agencies in these cases.

The CBI has registered about 32 FIRs in the coal allocations case till now.