The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, and his wife Rujira Banerjee for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the coal scam.
According to the reports, TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, a Member of Parliament from the Diamond Harbour seat, has been summoned to appear before the investigating officer of the case on September 6. In addition, Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Abhishek Banerjee, has been asked to appear before them on September 1 in a case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had accused TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee of being a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. However, he has denied all charges.
The case was filed under criminal sections of the (PMLA) by the ED based on the FIR filed by the CBI in November 2020. The FIR had alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to the Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas near Asansol.
Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek and his family benefitted from the coal scam: ED
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate had submitted before a special court alleging that incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, TMC MP from Diamond Harbor Abhishek Banerjee and his family received illicit funds from illegal coal mining in the state. It further stated that the “deep system” of political patronage driven by “well-oiled” machinery made it possible.
The ED, in this remand note, alleged that certain illegal mining instances were flourishing in the state under the “patronage” of the political party in power. The note, which was a remand note seeking enhanced custody of a West Bengal police officer Ashok Kumar Mishra, the inspector in charge of Bankura police station, had a detailed mention of these allegations.
The policeman had led the agency to the prime suspect – Majhi alias Lala, a local trader, Vinay, a TMC youth wing leader, and his brother Vikas Mishra. The ED had stated that the link goes all the way up to Abhishek Banerjee’s family.
In the statement informed, the ED had said, “it is further revealed that in a span of less than 2 years, an amount to the tune of Rs 1,352 crore has been illegally generated by Majhi through illegal coal mining. The investigation also revealed a deep system of political patronage and well-oiled network by which the system was subverted to carry out these illegal activities in a brazen manner.”
On the basis of a recorded statement of an unidentified “close associate” of Majhi, the ED alleged that the kingpin of this coal scam ran the “illegal coal mining business smoothly by managing senior functionaries of the political party of West Bengal though Inspector Mishra.”