New Delhi: In one of the biggest ponzi schemes, Saradha group had duped nearly 27 lakh investors in 14 states of Rs 2,500 crore, an official investigation has found, while recommending CBI probe against top executives, a West Bengal minister and police officers, among others.
Besides, further investigations by Income Tax Department, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Enforcement Directorate, among other agencies, have been recommended by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) against founders of Saradha group and others.
After nearly one-year-long probe, SFIO has made references to CBI in 11 transactions entered into by Saradha group companies and executives with various other entities, sources said.
In addition, the SFIO has recommended further probe into as many as 30 cases, including those for possible tax evasion, bribe payments and other unlawful transactions, professional misconduct, as per an over 500-page investigation report submitted by the probe agency to the central government.
Among these, SFIO has said that CBI needs to further examine and take necessary action into allegations against Madan Mitra, Sports Minister in West Bengal Government, as also Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha.
When contacted, Mitra declined to comment, while Purkayastha could not be reached.
The case, widely known as 'Saradha chit funds scam', has become a political hot potato with Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government facing flak from various quarters.
In May this year, the Supreme Court had handed over the Saradha chit fund scam probe to the CBI and asked the state governments to provide all logistical help to the CBI team investigating the matter.
Further, the CBI probe has also been sought into certain payments made to East Bengal Club, Rajat Majumdar, Debabrata Sarkar, Ramesh Gandhi and Jinesh Vanzara, among others. Some of these payments were made by Saradha group chief Sudipta Sen, who is currently in jail.