ED officials said that post-registration of the cases, the agency has issued directions to its various zonal offices across the country to initiate investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the financial dealings of the firms which have also been booked by CBI in this case.
During the same investigation, the ED probe will also look into the issue of foreign exchange "contravention" by these firms which have now been asked by the agency to furnish relevant documents.
The firms against whom the cases have been registered include Castron Technologies Ltd, Jharkhand Ispat Private Limited, Pushp Steel and Mining Pvt Ltd, JSPL, RSPL, Grace Industries, Jharkhand Ispat, Green Infrastructure, Hindalco, BLA Industries and Nav Bharat Power Private Limited.
The agency, according to sources, has taken cognizance of the over 17 FIRs filed by CBI in this case and it will investigate if these firms laundered illegal money and generated "proceeds of crime" in the entire process of coal allocation.
The probe by both the agencies in this case is being monitored by the Supreme Court.
CBI registered the FIRs after it conducted three preliminary enquiries related to coal block allocations between 2006 and 2009, 1993 and 2004 and projects given under a government scheme.
According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores was caused to the national exchequer in the coal block allocation scam.