Bengal ration scam: ED attaches 2 houses of ex-TMC minister Jyotipriya Mallick | Kolkata - Hindustan Times

Bengal ration scam: ED attaches 2 houses of ex-TMC minister Jyotipriya Mallick

Apr 13, 2024 11:30 AM IST

The Enforcement Directorate has appealed to the court to confiscate another 101 properties of Jyotipriya Mallick and his associates

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached two houses of former West Bengal food minister Jyotipriya Mallick, who was arrested by the federal agency in October last year, in connection with the alleged ration distribution scam.

Jyotipriya Mallick. (File)
Jyotipriya Mallick. (File)

“ED has provisionally attached various assets of book value of 50.47 crore allegedly acquired out of proceeds of crime derived from the ration scam. The market value of these properties is estimated to be significantly more than 150 crore,” the agency said in a statement.

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The attached assets include 48 immovable properties of various persons and entities including residential houses of Mallick at Salt Lake near Kolkata and Bolpur in Birbhum district. The ED has appealed to the court to confiscate another 101 properties of Mallick and his associates.

ED started a probe into the alleged scam in 2023 based on various FIRs registered by the state police between 2020 and 2022.

“Investigation revealed three modi operandi used in the alleged scam to generate proceeds of crime - paddy and wheat flour meant for the PDS ration were siphoned off to the open market, bogus paddy procurements at MSP and old wheat flour was mixed with fresh flour meant for the PDS distribution,” said an ED officer.

Other than Mallick, properties of Bakibur Rahaman, a rice and flour miller close to the former minister, and TMC leader Shankar Adhya were also attached. These include hotels in Kolkata and Bengaluru. Several benami properties, which Mallick used to hold were also attached.

The Mamata Banerjee government dropped his name from the Cabinet in February this year.

All three were arrested last year and are now in judicial custody. On January 5, ED went to search the house of TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas in connection with the ration distribution scam and came under attack. Shahjahan was later arrested by the state police and handed over to the CBI on the orders of the Calcutta high court.

“It is suspected that in the PDS scam proceeds of crime worth more than 10,000 crore were generated. Investigation also revealed that a large sum of money was laundered to Dubai and other countries by converting INR into foreign currency through money exchange firms owned and controlled by Adhya and others,” the statement said.

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