Ponzi Scam: CBI probes TMC leader, former commissioner

Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee. (PTI Photo)

CBI on Friday interrogated senior Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee and former city police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with Ponzi scheme scams in West Bengal.

Chatterjee, who is also the state education minister, was questioned in connection with an alleged infusion of funds by the defunct Saradha group to TMC mouthpiece 'Jaago Bangla', of which he is the editor, sources in CBI said. The central investigating agency also interrogated for the first time former city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore Rose Valley Ponzi scheme scam, they said.

Chatterjee was questioned by the probe agency for more than three hours in the Saradha scam.

Emerging from the interrogation conducted at the investigation agency's office in Salt Lake, he told waiting for reporters "CBI has not called me for personal reasons, but on behalf of the party".

The sources said that Chatterjee's name had surfaced during CBI's questioning of TMC Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Derek O'Brien, who is also the publisher of the mouthpiece, in connection with the probe into the Saradha scam. Kumar, who is now the ADG(CID), too was interrogated for more than three hours by the investigating officials of the agency.

Earlier, he had been interrogated in connection with the Saradha scam twice, the first time being in Shillong and later in the city. CBI had been questioning Kumar for allegedly suppressing documentary evidences relating to the Saradha scam. He has been granted protection by Calcutta High Court from any coercive action by CBI against him in connection with the Saradha ponzi scam.

Kumar has also filed a prayer before the Calcutta High Court seeking similar protection from any coercive action against him in connection with the Rose Valley scam. This prayer is yet to be taken up for hearing. 

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