On Saturday (April 3), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) cracked down on two TMC leaders in connection to the Saradha chit fund money laundering case. As per reports, the central agency has attached properties amounting to ₹3 crores belonging to former Rajya Sabha MP and current TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, Lok Sabha MP Satabdi Roy and one Debjani Mukherjee.
While Ghosh was the CEO, Roy was the brand ambassador of the Saradha Media Group. On the other hand, Mukherjee was the Director of the Saradha Group of Companies.
ED has attached properties worth Rs. 3Cr pertaining to Kunal Ghosh Ex-Rajya Sabha MP from TMC (CEO Media Group Saradha), Satabdi Roy Lok Sabha MP from TMC (Brand Ambassador Saradha) and also of Debjani Mukhejree who is director Saradha Group of companies in Saradha Chit Fund case— ED (@dir_ed) April 3, 2021
The ED informed that it had a provisional order to attach both movable and immovable properties of the said individuals. The order was issued to the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). So far, the Enforcement Directorate has attached ₹600 crores worth of assets in the case. The investigation has been ongoing for over half a decade, starting in April 2013.
Interestingly, Kunal Ghosh headed a TV channel, which was funded by the Saradha group. After the allegations surfaced against him, Ghosh was suspended in 2013 for his ‘anti-party activities.’ He was later inducted in the party and made the spokesperson. He is out on bail and has been interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate on several occasions.
Saradha chit-fund scam case
The Saradha scam broke out into the open in 2013 when a Ponzi scheme run by the Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies, collapsed after collecting hundreds and thousands of crores from over 15 lakh investors.
When ED questioned Ghosh as a witness in October 2013, it was revealed that Kumar was in contact with ED during the arrests of Sudipta Sen, Debjani Mukherjee, or witnesses Ghosh and others during September to November 2013. CBI said, “It was ensured by the officials that grave facts narrated by these accused persons or witnesses must not be taken on record as part of the investigation with a purpose to shield the influential persons.”
CBI said, “It is submitted that the same establishes that the Chief Minister used to talk to Sudipta Sen using the phone of Kunal Kumar Ghosh,” said the application. During the investigation, when CBI checked the call details of two numbers of Sen for one year, the agency found that he and Ghosh talked 298 times on one number and nine times on the second number, as per a report by Business Standard.