Politicos in dock over Saradha scam

Politicos in dock over Saradha scam

The chit fund scam in Bengal is gradually snowballing into a political war as the arrest of Saradha Group CEO and CMD Sudipta Sen is likely to open a can of worms and put several Trinamool Congress and Congress leaders in a fix.

In a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that was redirected to the Bidhanangar Police Commissionerate, Sen alleged that two TMC Rajya Sabha MPs including Kunal Ghosh, CEO of Saradha’s media wing, were major beneficiaries.

In the letter dated April 10, a day before he left Kolkata, Sen alleged that he not only paid hefty sums to TMC leaders, but also an influential Congress leader in Assam and wife of a senior Congress minister in the Centre, police sources said.

In the 18-page letter, a copy of which was also sent to Sebi, Sen alleged that a business lobby close to the TMC government had “forced” him to take over a loss-making motorcycle manufacturing unit in Polba near Singur, which further aggravated Saradha group’s financial woes.

The letter also mentions 22 people who allegedly “used” Sen to make money. The list includes at least five political leaders.

Meanwhile, the Mamata Banerjee government has frozen about 35 bank accounts of the Saradha group, while 36 cars belonging to Sen and his company were seized, besides four office buildings in and around Kolkata and hundreds of land documents.

A judicial commission appointed by the Bengal government will start registering complaints from investors on Monday.

Sen, along with two associates, was arrested from Sonmarg in Kashmir on Tuesday. They were brought to Kolkata on transit remand on Thursday.

The problem surfaced last week when thousands of Saradha agents and depositors laid siege to the chief minister’s house. Saradha offices in Baruipur, Tarakeswar, Goghat, Murshidabad, Birbhum and East Midnapore were also ransacked.

Following widespread protests, the chief minister said a draft for promulgating an ordinance having more teeth to restrict operations of chit funds was being prepared.

Saradha’s Rs 4,000 crore business crumbled after capital market regulator Sebi started cracking the whip on chit fund companies for flouting rules, creating pressure on the group’s finances.

Mamata announces Rs 500-cr relief

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the duped investors, reports PTI.

The TMC supremo rejected allegations against the party in the Saradha chitfund scam and promised to take action against anyone found guilty. In more trouble for Saradha group, the Income Tax department will also probe its investments and finances.

Showcause notices for production of documents and recording of statements of promoters, investors and prominent agents in this case could be issued soon, top IT department sources said.

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