TMC heavyweight Anubrata Mondal arrested by ED in cattle smuggling scam

Published on Nov 17, 2022 07:57 PM IST

The TMC Birbhum district president and a close aide of chief minister Mamata Banerjee was earlier arrested by the CBI in connection with the same case on July 11

Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal. (ANI Photo)
Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal. (ANI Photo)

Trinamool Congress heavyweight Anubrata Mondal was on Thursday arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam more than five hours after the federal agency questioned the West Bengal leader inside the Asansol jail where he is currently lodged.

The TMC Birbhum district president and a close aide of chief minister Mamata Banerjee was earlier arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the same case on July 11.

A team of ED officials came down from Delhi on Thursday to question Mondol inside the prison, and started the interrogation around 11 am, the first time the ED questioned him in the case.

According to an ED official, the agency is likely to move court so that they can take Mondal to Delhi for further questioning. They have already taken Mondal’s former bodyguard Sehgal Hossain to Delhi after his arrest. The central agency has also questioned Mondal’s daughter Sukanya at least thrice.

“Mondal was not cooperating and hence he was arrested on Thursday,” said an ED official.

Also Read:Cattle smuggling racket: Did Mondal, daughter ‘win’ more than one lottery?

Earlier, the CBI claimed to have recovered properties worth several crores of rupees which Mondal had allegedly registered in the name of his daughter, family members and other close aides. The central agency suspects that the Birbhum strongman may have tried more than once to route the proceeds of the scam through lottery prizes.

The ruling Trinamool Congress criticised the arrest and called it yet another instance of central agencies being misused for “political gains”.

“Central agencies are being used for political gains. It is a part of an ongoing investigation and hence we won’t comment. But we want ED to complete its investigation at the earliest,” Santanu Sen, TMC MP, told the media.

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