Former Punjab Naib Tehsildar Varinder Pal Dhoot Arrested in Money-laundering Case

Team Parvasi – Inside

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a former naib tehsildar (subordinate tehsildar) working in the Punjab government on money-laundering charges. He has been linked to the alleged fraud in the sale of village land in the state’s SAS Nagar district. He and other officials are said to have misallocated shares for more than 99 acres of land.

ED has arrested Varinder Pal Singh Dhoot, a Punjab government employee, for money-laundering. According to the ED, the case involves revenue officials and others, and focuses on misallocating shares of ‘shamlat’ (panchayat) land of Seonk village in the SAS Nagar district. They are said to have misallocated shares for more than 99 acres of land in the name of ineligible villagers and in some instances, even outsiders, according to the ED.

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Private property dealers then obtained the power of attorneys from these villages and sold the ‘shamlat’ land to non-eligible villagers and some outsiders with the help of revenue officials. The ED added, “The sale consideration was shared by the property dealers and revenue officials among themselves, giving a small amount to the villagers as well, from whom the power of attorneys were taken.”

Investigations into Dhoot’s account showed more than Rs. 15 crores in unexplained credit entries. From this amount, Rs. 8 crore was received in the bank accounts of Dhoot and his family members. Most of sale transactions for the ‘shamlat’ land were done in cash. The value of the land is said to be over Rs. 50 crore.

Vineet Washington

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