ED files money laundering case against West Bengal's Saradha group
Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday registered a money laundering case against West Bengal’s Saradha group, accused of duping thousands of crores of investors' money.
Earlier today, the prime accused in the Saradha chit fund scam - Sudipto Sen and Debjani – and one more official of the Saradha Group were remanded to 14 days' police custody by a court here.
The three were produced before the court and charged with violations of Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sen and the two other accused were produced in court even as fresh protests erupted.
Sudipta Sen and two others accused were also quizzed by the authorities in connection with the chit fund scam. The police today seized mobiles and laptops from the three accused. According to sources, six cases have been filed against Sen, out of which four have been filed by employees who did not receive their salaries.
The other two cases were related to money marketing schemes of Saradha Tours and Saradha Realty. The police also said that seven directors of the company will be probed.
Sen, who is one of the three accused, had blamed two Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs of 'extortion' and 'blackmail' and held them responsible for his downfall.
Sen, in a letter to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), threatened to commit suicide over his predicament, as he feared he would not be able to refund the public money.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit in West Bengal has demanded a CBI probe. Reacting to the situation, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee promised to take action against guilty.
She also yesterday announced a Rs 500 crore relief fund for duped investors.
More big names entered the fray in the chit fund scam today. These included a West Bengal Congress MP and Finance Minister P Chidambaram's wife Nalini Chidambaram who was reportedly engaged as a senior advocate to close a Saradha deal.
The Congress MP from Malda, AHK Chowdhury, reportedly wrote a letter in March 2013 to PM, vouching for Saradha group and urging the PM to keep Saradha Realty 'outside the purview of the Reserve Bank of India' because it was 'not a chit fund, microfinance or Non-Banking Finance Deposit Company'.
The Trinamool Congress hit out at the Congress demanding that it must clarify on the involvement of two of its party members in the scam.