The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested two close aides of jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda - Manoj Punamiya and Arvind Vyas, both alleged hawala operators and kingpins of the multi-crore money laundering scam.
The two were arrested in Delhi on Wednesday and remanded in 14 days' judicial custody on Thursday by the special Enforcement Directorate (ED) court in Ranchi, and lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail.
The arrests are being seen as a major breakthrough in unearthing the Koda scam.
''The two were brought to Ranchi this afternoon. They were produced before the special ED court of G K Singh, who remanded them in 14 days' judicial custody. It is now up to ED officials investigating the scam to take them on remand for interrogation,'' senior public prosecutor S R Das said.
Punamiya, a close associate of the former chief minister, was detained by immigration authorities at Mumbai airport on 26 July on his arrival from a fifth visit to Dubai. A red corner notice had been issued against him earlier, though he had successfully given immigration officials the slip on at least five occasions while flying to Dubai, Switzerland and the US.
The ED is now probing how he left the country despite the lookout notices.