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Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee summoned by ED in Rose Valley scam probe

It is trying to establish if politicians and Bengali movie stars had any financial transactions with the Rose Valley Group.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2019 21:35 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ED,prosenjit,sarada scam
The ED also suspects that the movie’s production cost was undervalued on paper by the company and money from Ponzi scheme investors was used to fund it.(Facebook/prosenjit.in)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Bengali actor Prosenjit Chatterjee on July 19 in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam to probe his association with the company and its chairperson Gautam Kundu.

The central anti-money laundering agency had questioned Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Madan Mitra on Monday in the case.

ED is trying to establish if politicians and Bengali movie stars had any financial transactions with the Rose Valley Group. The company had also produced several Bengali films between 2010 and 2012, including ‘Hangover’, in which Prosenjit Chatterjee starred in the lead role.

The ED also suspects that the movie’s production cost was undervalued on paper by the company and money from Ponzi scheme investors was used to fund it.

Reacting to the ED summons, Prasenjit said, “I cannot comment at this moment. It (the summons) was not sent to me but to my company. However, I shall cooperate fully with the investigation and tell them whatever they want to know.”

According to investigators, the Rose Valley scandal is estimated to be worth around Rs 17,000 crore, five times bigger than the Saradha scam.

In January this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested a Bengali film producer Srikant Mohta in the Rose Valley probe.

During his questioning with the CBI in 2015, Rose Valley Group’s former managing director Shibamoy Dutta had disclosed how the group had created an empire with the help of lakhs of active agents, who lured people to invest in the schemes run by their companies.

“I cannot comment at this moment. It (the summons) was not sent to me but to my company. However, I shall cooperate fully with the investigation and tell them whatever they want to know,” Chatterjee told reporters.

Dutta had claimed that the two schemes - Aashirwad scheme and holiday membership – had fetched most of the money for Rose Valley, through which investors were lured to invest in the promise of high returns. Under the Aashirwad scheme, the company used to lure people by asking them to invest in plots. In holiday membership, the offers were given in the name of packages to the tourists from all over the country.

The Rose Valley group had eight divisional offices, 21 regional offices, 880 branches, nearly 20 lakh enlisted agents and 2.7 active agents. The group was in the business of 23 hotels and three amusement parks and had invested heavily in sectors like tours and travels, realty, housing, resorts and hotels, entertainment and media.

The Saradha scam, the agencies have so far seized assets, bank accounts etc worth over Rs 1,200 crore while seizure in Rose Valley has crossed Rs 4,500 crore mark.

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 16:34 IST