Be­nami Trou­ble for Tri­namool Lead­ers

CBI, ED likely to slap charges against some ac­cused in Narada sting un­der Be­nami Act

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Mad­hu­parna.Das @times­group.com

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

PTI

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