Benami Trouble for Trinamool Leaders
CBI, ED likely to slap charges against some accused in Narada sting under Benami Act
Kolkata: Fresh trouble seems to be brewing for Trinamool Congress and its supremo Mamata Banerjee. It has been learnt that in a recent development, the central agencies — CBI and Enforcement Directorate — probing into the Narada sting operation that brought up bribery allegations against a host of Trinamool Congress MPs and ministers, have decided to slap charges of possessing disproportionate assets against some of the accused leaders.
At least four ministers and four MPs were summoned and grilled by the agencies. Following the interrogation and during the course of the investigation, the agencies have found several evidences that reveal that the senior leaders have accumulated cash and assets ‘disproportionate’ to their known sources of income, said a senior official. According to the sources, some ministers had also opened shell companies to launder money to offshore accounts.
At least one minister in Banerjee’s cabinet is learnt to have laundered money through 12 shell companies. Moreover, some of the properties owned by these accu- sed have also been brought to the notice of the income tax department, added the source. “There is scope of starting cases against some of the persons under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act. We have collected several evidences that establish the crime,” he added. Significantly, some of the ministers have accepted that they had taken money from Mathew Samuel of Narada TV, while some have denied the allegations.
“Some of the ministers have tried to convince the investigators saying that they had taken money for election funds or for some charity purpose. But we are verifying each and every document they had produced so far. But some accused persons have went on a plain denial. Denial might create more trouble as we already collected several documents that can go against them in the court of law,” said an official.
Probe reveals some leaders possess cash & assets against their known sources of income