Kolkata: Four days before West Bengal goes to Assembly polls, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed its first chargesheet in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam case, naming ex-Trinamool Congress MP Srinjoy Bose and chairman of the now-defunct group Sudipta Sen among others.
The chargesheet, running to over 10,000 pages, also called as the
prosecution complaint by ED, was filed before a special sessions court.
The agency has named 21 accused in the chargesheet, including 10 individuals and 11 companies it had investigated for over three years under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Apart from Bose, who quit both Trinamool Congress and his Rajya Sabha membership early this year, ED has named Sudipta Sen, his senior employee in the Saradha group Debjani Mukherjee, his wife Piyali Sen, son Shubhojit, businessmen Shantanu Ghosh and Ramesh Gandhi, Saradha agent Prashant Naskar, former Union Minister Matang Sinh, and his estranged wife Manoranja Singh.
The agency has issued four orders worth about Rs 600 crore for attaching properties in this case till now, which have been also furnished in the chargesheet. It also registered a case under PMLA in 2013 taking cognisance of police FIRs from West Bengal, Assam and Odisha.
The chargesheet, official sources said, has also put on record transactions made through 91 bank accounts, out of the total 338, that were used to indulge in the alleged chit fund scam on numerous gullible depositors in the three states.
ED has pegged the amount of the scam at Rs 2,500 crore and has conducted a detailed investigation involving lakhs of multi-layered transactions and found that “more than 90 per cent of such companies existed only on paper and only 17 companies out of the 224 companies actually had carried out some business”.
The chargesheet, sources said, only pertains to the spread of the scam in West Bengal, which goes to polls from 4 April, and not in Assam and Odisha.
The six-phase polls to the 294-seat Assembly will end on 5 May and counting of votes will take place on 19 May. Officials did not rule not filing more chargesheets in the case.