Enforcement Directorate investigates money laundering in Tamil Nadu’s sand mining business

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday launched a major crackdown on sand mafia in Tamil Nadu, carrying out raids at over 40 locations across the state.

The raids took place at sand mining sites, sales depots and the offices and residences of sand mining contractors at several locations, including Vellore, Chennai, Dindigul, Tiruchi, Karur and Pudukottai, among others.

The ED’s investigation into the sand mining scam was triggered by allegations of money laundering and substantial tax evasion within the sand mining industry. It is alleged that while sand was officially sold online with an e-receipt provided at the sand mining depots, there were significant offline sales of sand that weren’t consistently recorded.

The probe agency was investigating whether appropriate taxes were deposited into government accounts based on the e-bills issued.

Among those targeted in the raids were industrialists S Ramachandran and Dindigul Rathinam, who hold sand mining licenses, as well as a chartered accountant and a sand mining contractor named Rathinam. These individuals were under the radar of the ED.