CBI arrests Manoranjana Sinh, Santanu Ghosh in Saradha scam

CBI arrests Manoranjana Sinh, Santanu Ghosh in Saradha scam

In a fresh boost to the probe into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Manoranjana Sinh, estranged wife of former UPA government minister Matang Sinh from Kolkata on Wednesday.

The central agency also arrested Kolkata-based entrepreneur Santanu Ghosh for his alleged involvement in the scam. Matang was arrested on similar charges in January.
Besides arresting Sinh and Ghosh, CBI officials grilled Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal for his association with Saradha Group and Rose Valley, which is under the scanner for running Ponzi schemes. Pal, who was earlier questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), was grilled by CBI investigators for nearly six hours on Wednesday.

 He was called to the CBI office in Kolkata at around noon and the agency also raided his house in March.

While Pal was an independent director with Rose Valley for few months, he was also associated with Saradha. Sources said that officials asked him about his involvement with the two groups and payments he received.

Investigators are trying to ascertain whether he helped the two companies spread their operations with the influence of his political office.

Both Sudipto Sen of Saradha Group and Gautam Deb of Rose Valley are behind bars.
Sources said that Manoranjana was also grilled extensively before being arrested. She was the managing director of a Guwahati-based media company that was involved in financial transactions with Sen.

 The Saradha Group chairman had mentioned Manoranjana’s named in his ‘tell-all’ letter to CBI in April 2013 and blamed her for siphoning off crores while settling a deal between Sen’s and her company.

Sen further claimed in his letter that Manoranjana introduced him to Nalini, wife of former union minister P Chidambaram and a lawyer in the Supreme Court, who in turn had urged Sen to help Manoranjana set up a TV channel in Guwahati. Nalini was also Saradha Group’s legal counselor for sometime and received an annual retainer of Rs 12 crore, Sen claimed in his letter.

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