Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: In an attempt to expedite the ongoing investigation into the Rs 10,000-crore Saradha chit fund scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday conducted fresh raids at nearly 28 locations in Delhi, Kolkata and in some places in Odisha.
According to reports, the premises of ex-union minister Matang Sinh, his wife Manorajana, former IPS official Rajat Majumdar and East Bengal Club officials have been searched by the CBI sleuths for more leads.
Two days back, the central probe agency had raided offices of Saradha Group directors in Kolkata and seized several CDs and hard disks.
The office at Salt Lake here was the main centre where the cash collected from the depositors from West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Tripura were brought in huge sacks and tallied.
An accountant of the group during questioning provided “valuable information” on the accounting procedure and the account books. Following the clues provided by her, the sleuths discovered three hidden locked trunks, which contained several cash books.
According to her, the group’s jailed chairman Sudipto Sen, had called her up saying that the account books should be destroyed, before he fled to Sonemarg in J&k from where he had been apprehended in April last year.
These books contained entries of the amounts paid to several politicians, bureaucrats and police officials in the four states as well as the financial transactions of Saradha Constructions.
At a later stage, the group had mobilised huge funds mainly selling land and flats in the name of its real estate concern and duped many people, including West Bengal government officers.
The company’s offices and the two residences of Sudipto at Salt Lake had been earlier raided and sealed by the special investigation team of the West Bengal Police.
The CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate, probing the mega scam following the Supreme Court order on May 9, are still at a loss to understand how the SIT could have overlooked the incriminating evidence.
However, the materials seized by the West Bengal SIT have been handed over to the CBI and the sleuths along with the ED and Income Tax officials are scouring them.
Meanwhile, the CBI is also toying with the idea of registering an FIR against a TMC MP, who had business dealings with Sudipto.
CBI officials claimed that the MP knew about the group’s fund collection schemes from the public and had helped Sudipto to stash the money abroad.
The TMC MP, who has already been questioned by the ED, was introduced to Sudipto by suspended TMC Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, who is currently in jail after being named as one of the accused in the CBI case.
The CBI SIT, headed by Joint Director Rajeev Singh, has concrete evidence about the role of the TMC MP concerned, who is believed to have also played a key role in advising Sudipto on “bribing several politicians and officials”.
The probe agency wants to register a specific FIR against the MP as it will be easier to summon him for questioning and subsequently arrest him.