ED files charge sheet in case linked to sale of inferior coal to PSUs


PTI, May 5, 2022, 2:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The ED has filed a charge sheet before a special court in Chennai in a money laundering case linked to alleged sale of poor quality coal to PSU firms, the federal probe agency said on Thursday.

The prosecution complaint or charge sheet has been filed against prime accused A R Buhari and six companies identified as Coastal Energy Private Limited, Chennai, Coastal Energen Private Limited, Chennai, CNO DMCC, Dubai, CNO LLC, Dubai, Precious Energy Holdings Limited, British Virgin Island and Mutiara Energy Holdings Limited, Mauritius. The case pertains to ”over valuation of coal prices whereby PSUs paid higher price for the purchase of lower quality of coal”, it said.

”All the six accused companies are managed, controlled and beneficially owned by Ahmed A R Buhari,” the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.

The court took cognisance of the charge sheet, filed under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), on April 29, it said.

The agency said Buhari was ”controlling companies like Coastal Energy Private Limited, Chennai, Coastal Energen Private Limited, Coal & Oil Group Dubai and other offshore entities located in Mauritius and British Virgin Islands.” ”The public sector undertakings (PSUs) were supplied coal of lower calorific value instead of the higher specification for which the tenders were floated and executed by the CEPL or MMTC and the coal was supplied by CEPL either directly or through MMTC on the strength of overvalued invoice for lower quality supported with fraudulent certificate of sampling and analysis (COSA) whereas the original COSA depicting the genuine quality of coal was suppressed,” it said.

Buhari ”generated” proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 564.48 crore from the ”over valuation” of coal, the ED alleged.

Buhari ”diverted” the proceeds of crime through various companies and finally integrated the same in installation of power plant by his another company, Coastal Energen, it said.

The ED earlier had attached land, plant, machinery and other assets of Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd. worth Rs 564.48 crore.

It has been prayed in the charge sheet for the ”confiscation” of these assets through this prosecution complaint, the ED said.

The agency’s case stems from an earlier FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the accused.

”The investigation in the matter was also conducted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and a show cause notice to the party has been issued under the provisions of Customs Act,” the agency said.

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