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Saradha chit fund scam: Enforcement Directorate questions Aparna Sen and Bengal textile minister

Monday, 18 August 2014 - 2:20pm IST Updated: Monday, 18 August 2014 - 4:05pm IST | Place: Kolkata | Agency: dna webdesk

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday summoned noted actress and film maker Aparna Sen for questioning regarding the Saradha chit fund scam. Aparna Sen was the editor of Parama, a magazine published by the Saradha group. ED wanted to know the details of the contract Sen had signed with the group, according to local media channels. Sen reportedly told the ED that she had no idea about the money laundering scheme, and she promised to cooperate with the investigations to the best of her abilities.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal textile minister Shyamapada Mukherjee also reached the ED's office this morning to be questioned in relation to the chit fund scam, especially a property deal in 2009. PTI quoted Mukherjee's lawyer as saying, "An allegation was raised against Mr Mukherjee that he has raised some capital by way of transfer of some assets. All the allegations against him of illegal dealings are baseless and today he has come to give all relevant details and bank statements in this regard to the ED," Joydeb Das, a lawyer accompanying the minister."

Previously, the ED had also questioned actor Mithun Chakraborty regarding the scam, though the investigating agency had clarified that the actor had no connections with the scam.

On Saturday, media reports suggested that police officials had seized four pen drives of the company along with some important papers of the company without issuing any receipts of including them into the seizure list. A highly placed official in Saradha Realty wrote about this in a letter to the CBI and ED.

On August 14, The CBI raided 28 locations in Delhi, Kolkata and Odisha in connection with Saradha chit fund scam. This included the premises of ex-union minister Matang Singh, his wife Manorajana, former IPS official Rajat Majumdar and several East Bengal Club officials.

The Saradha chitfunds case involves lakhs of multi-layered transactions and the agency probe has found that "more than 90 per cent of companies existed only on paper and only 17 companies out of the 224 companies actually had carried out some business," the sources said.

The rest, investigators claimed, were floated as "dummies" to act as cover for unleashing the alleged ponzi scheme. The latest ED probe report has ascertained that the laundering amount in this case amounts close to Rs 1983.02 crore and it has identified it as "proceeds of crime" as stipulated under the criminal provisions of the PMLA.

Investigative agencies probing the case including ED, CBI, state police departments of West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, have brought under their scanner four companies of the Saradha group which are Saradha Realty Private India Limited, Saradha Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd, Saradha Garden Resort and Hotel Pvt Ltd and Saradha Housing Pvt Ltd as they have been alleged to have mobilised money from the public.

The main accused and Chairman of the Saradha group Sudipta Sen and Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh and few others are already under arrest in this case.


With inputs from PTI

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