Another big name has surfaced in connection with the multi-crore Rose Valley scam, as the Enforcement Directorate summoned Shah Rukh Khan owned Kolkata Knight Rider CEO Venky Mysore to the CGO complex in Salt Lake, Kolkata, on Friday morning to question him regarding the financial transaction between Shah Rukh Khan owned Red Chillies and Rose Valley.
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s company came under ED scanner in 2015 after it alleged that the money transferred between the actor’s Red Chillies, a movie production and distribution company, and Rose Valley, sponsors of Kolkata Knight Riders, was more than what was mentioned in the deal that was signed between the two companies.
Rose Valley was the principal sponsor of KKR, a cricket franchise representing Kolkata in the Indian Premier League (IPL), for 2012 and 2013. KKR is owned by Shah Rukh’s company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta from the Mehta Group.
Rose Valley had given sponsorship money of Rs 5.5 crore to KKR in 2012 during IPL season 5. In 2013, Rose Valley claimed to have provided Rs 6.05-crore as sponsorship money to KKR for IPL season 6.
In 2012, before the Rose Valley scam broke out, Shah Rukh Khan himself promoted Rose Valley resorts at Mandarmoni, Lataguri and Port Blair without revealing the name of Rose Valley because of certain technical reasons. By virtue of the two-year agreement, KKR players were also supposed to wear jerseys with the Rose Valley logo.
According to the ED estimates, the Rose Valley scam is at least five times the Saradha ponzi scam. The group allegedly floated 27 companies to run various schemes. It allegedly collected Rs.17,520 crore from depositors in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar.
The ED registered a case on the basis of an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The agency is investigating the cases against Rose Valley Group of Companies, run by the Group’s Chairman Gautam Kundu, for laundering of funds received from the public by way of Ponzi scheme.
The agency had registered an FIR against its Chairman Gautam Kundu and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in 2014 and arrested him on March 25, 2015. The ED also attached his assets worth Rs 2,300 crore, including hotels and resorts. Multiple charge sheets had been filed by the ED in the courts of Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.
In the latest, ED had summoned Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee in connection with the multi-crore scam. Prosenjit Chatterjee has been regularly spotted at many Rose Valley events with the main accused Gautam Kundu.
Prior to this, Chief of Shree Venkatesh Films and Mamata Banerjee’s close aide, Srikant Mohta had been arrested in January 2019 by the CBI in connection with the Rose Valley scam. The Bengali film producer and distributor was then interrogated by the CBI at his offices. He was served a notice by the agency regarding “acceptance of money from Rose Valley”.
Apart from these, several top leaders of the Trinamool Congress are named in the chit fund scam and facing investigation.
The ED had earlier also interrogated TMC leader Madan Mitra in connection with the scandal. He was interrogated for more than four hours.
Mitra, who was the then transport minister and believed to be a close aide of WB Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, was arrested in 2014 by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his alleged connection with the multi-crore Saradha Ponzi scam. He served a jail term of over 21 months before getting bail.
Last year, the ED had rounded up actor turned TMC MP Tapas Pal in connection to the same scam and interrogated him for over 9 hours. Pal was the director of the film division of the Rose Valley Group.
Previously, Tapas Pal was interrogated by CBI in connection with the Rose Valley Chit Fund scam case in 2015. In December 2016 Pal was arrested by the CBI and was kept in judicial custody. He was granted bail in February 2018.