First money laundering conviction: Jharkhand Ex minister sentenced to 7 years

Former Jharkhand Minister Hari Narayan Rai has been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a special court here, making it the first case of conviction under anti-money laundering laws in the country since the PMLA Act was first enforced about 12 years ago.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Rai.

The instance pertains to the money laundering case involving former state Chief Minister Madhu Koda. The case was unearthed by the Enforcement Directorate in September 2009 in which a number of arrests were made and assets worth hundreds of crores were attached.

Rai, the former Tourism, Urban Development and Forests Minister in the Koda cabinet, was convicted by the special court yesterday for laundering funds to the tune of over Rs 3.72 crore.

“Rai has been pronounced guilty under section 3, read with section 4, of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and has been sentenced to 7 years RI, the maximum under the said Act and has been additionally fined Rs 5 lakh.The court found him guilty to launder the proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 3,72,54,016,” the agency said.

A senior official added, “This is a historic judgement as this becomes the first conviction under the PMLA in the country which was enacted in 2002 and implemented from 2005 in order to check and curb black money and grave financial crimes.”

The ED had taken over this case in September, 2009 after taking cognisance of Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau’s FIRs in the case and had filed three charge sheets in the case since then.