Saradha Scam: ED attaches assets worth Rs. 60 crore
New Delhi, Oct 29 (IBNS): Moving ahead with the ongoing money laundering probe involving the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday attached assets, including a school, a cement factory and few resorts, worth Rs. 60 crore in West Bengal.
According to media reports, the attachment order was issued by the Kolkata office of the agency on Wednesday after its Eastern Zone Special Director Yogesh Gupta met the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money in Delhi recently.
It has been learnt that the assets which were attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) included Lincoln High School, Landmark Cement Factory and a number of flats and resorts spread in various places of the state, which had a total value of around Rs. 60 crore.
"A resort in Lataguri, residential flats in Siliguri, several tracts of land in Malda and South 24 Parganas district have been attached under PMLA laws," media quoted ED officials as saying.
Not only that, accounts of Kolkata’s two major football clubs – East Bengal and Mohun Bagan were also attached.
It has been learnt that properties outside West Bengal, which included a flat in Odisha's Cuttack and several other real estate properties associated directly or indirectly with jailed Saradha group Chairman Sudipta Sen and his associates have been attached.
ED officials suspect, the actual market price of these immovable assets would be three-four times higher than the official valuation.
It is noteworthy to mention that ED has earlier attached assets worth Rs. 400 crore in this case which is alleged to have duped numerous investors in West Bengal, Assam and Odisha.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is also probing the ponzi scam along with ED, is expected to file its second charge sheet very soon.
As per media reports, CBI has started an investigation against four officials of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), who are alleged to be involved in the scam.
Earlier, CBI on 22 October filed its first charge sheet in the 10,000 crore Saradha Chit fund scam at the sessions court in Kolkata.
The probe agency has named Saradha group chairman Sudipta Sen, his close associate Debjani Mukherjee and suspended TMC MP Kunal Ghosh in the charge sheet.
They have been charged under sections 409, 420 and 120b of IPC and under sections 4 and 6 of Prize Chits and Money Laundering Banning Act, 1978.
Besides, Sudipta, Debjani and Kunal, five companies owned by them have also been implicated in the conspiracy.
These companies are Saradha Tours and Travels, Saradha Constructions, Saradha Gardens and Saradha Realty and Kunal-owned Strategy Media Limited.
The Saradha Group that went bust last year left lakhs of depositors in a fix.
Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen and Saradha Group director Debjani Mukherjee were arrested in April 2013 from Jammu and Kashmir.
He was absconding since Saradha Group collapsed.
The duo is now in jail in the ponzi scam. Sen had claimed that he was blackmailed and used by politicians mainly from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress.
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