FBI aid sought in Saradha case

FBI aid sought in Saradha case

FBI aid sought in Saradha case

ED asks US agency to retrieve data from Boston computers

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now asked for help from a US agency, the FBI, adding an international twist to the Saradha chit fund scam in West Bengal. 

The Indian agency wants the US agency to help it retrieve data from computer servers based in Boston with regard to the Saradha probe.

According to sources, the ED has written to the FBI seeking its help in the retrieval of various Saradha documents that reside in servers based in Boston. 

“ED has sought permission from FBI to access the Internet Protocol (IP) address and servers, where a large volume of data related to Saradha are saved. The servers used by the chit fund company were all based in the US and an American software company used to maintain these data,” a senior official said.

It is not known whether or not FBI authorities have responded to the letter, but ED sources pointed out that the purpose of getting the details of the servers is to recover financial data stored in these servers which the Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal Police had earlier failed to access. 

The Supreme Court handed over the investigation of the Saradha scam to the CBI earlier this month. 

Now the agency, along with ED, is making renewed efforts to initiate a more pointed probe into the scam. The scam is said to involve a number of ministers and leaders from the ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal. 

Sources said the two central agencies have already started coordinating with each other in their efforts to investigate the multi-million-rupee scam that involves more than five lakh small-range investors.

It has been decided that the two agencies will share vital information, even though they are probing the scam under different legislations. The ED is investigating the scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the CBI under the Indian Penal Code. 

Sources said that the ED will soon file chargesheets against the accused, including the tainted group’s chairman, Sudipta Sen, his second wife, Piyali, and Subhojit, son from his first wife.