Bengal coal scam: CBI questions key accused Anup Majhi
Sleuths believe that the scam runs into several thousands of crores of rupees and part of the crime proceeds had been transacted through the hawala route.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday questioned Anup Majhi alias Lala, the main accused in the multi-crore rupees coal smuggling scam in West Bengal. The accused, who had been 'absconding' until now, appeared before the CBI at the agency's Kolkata office at 11 am for the interrogation.
Majhi is the alleged mastermind behind illegal mining operations at the Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in West Bengal's Asansol, and the CBI is questioning him in connection with a coal pilferage scam in the Kunustoria and Kajora areas. The Supreme Court had restrained the agency from arresting Majhi till April 6.
For a while now, the investigating officers had been in close pursuit of Majhi. In addition to issuing a look-out circular, the CBI had raided several of the accused's premises in the city and in the coal-bearing belt of Asansol and Ranigunj.
Sleuths believe that the scam runs into several thousands of crores of rupees and part of the crime proceeds had been transacted through the hawala route. The case is being jointly probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), while the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has also formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
On March 13, the West Bengal CID made the first arrest in connection with the case — Randhir Singh, who is said to have been involved in the scam and working for Majhi, was arrested from the Paschim Bardhaman district. Moreover, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira and his sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir were also questioned by the CBI in connection with the case.
ECL general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL security chief Tanmay Das, Kunustoria area security inspector Dhananjay Rai, and Kajora area security in-charge Debashish Mukherjee had also been named in the FIR registered by the CBI in November last year.