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Multi-State Scholarship Scam Unveiled: ED Raids 24 Locations in Money Laundering Probe

Money LaunderingMulti-State Scholarship Scam Unveiled: ED Raids 24 Locations in Money Laundering Probe

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted searches at 24 locations across Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi in connection with an alleged scholarship scam. The investigation is based on a money laundering probe initiated by the ED after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The scam revolves around funds distributed by the Himachal Pradesh Directorate of Higher Education for the post-matric scholarship scheme benefiting students from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes. The ED conducted searches at premises associated with state education department officials, banks, and owners of private universities and institutions allegedly involved in misappropriating scholarship funds.

During the operation, the ED seized ₹75 lakh (around $100,000) in unaccounted cash and froze approximately ₹2.55 crore (around $350,000) held in bank accounts.

The CBI had previously searched 22 educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab in May 2019 as part of the investigation into the alleged ₹250 crore scholarship scam. In 2020, a chargesheet was filed against 12 individuals, including education department officials, bank employees, and institution representatives.

Preliminary findings suggested collusion between education department officials, central government representatives, bank staff, and institutions. Negligence in verifying income and caste certificates before fund disbursement led to allegations that over 80% of the funds were channeled through private institutions.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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