Saradha case: TMC leader returns money to ED

The Saradha Group ran an unlicensed fund, which went bust in 2013 and wiped out deposits from around 1.8 million, mostly poor, depositors from West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.
An ED official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the agency has received the draft but refused to comment.(HT image)
An ED official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the agency has received the draft but refused to comment.(HT image)
Updated on Sep 05, 2019 06:10 AM IST
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Kolkata | ByHT Correspondent

West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) lawmaker and actor Satabdi Roy on Wednesday said she has sent a demand draft of 30.64 lakh, the money she received from the Saradha Group as its brand ambassador, to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Roy is among those facing the CBI and ED probe for their alleged role in the Saradha ponzi scam. The Saradha Group ran an unlicensed fund, which went bust in 2013 and wiped out deposits from around 1.8 million, mostly poor, depositors from West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.

“I have sent a draft of 30.64 lakh to the ED,” said Roy, who was this year elected as a Lok Sabha member for the third time from Birbhum.

An ED official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the agency has received the draft but refused to comment.

“The court had asked the agencies to investigate the larger conspiracy behind Saradha. If someone has promoted the group that, in turn, has mopped up deposits from a large number of people, returning the income for promoting the group is not likely to be a mitigating factor,” said Riju Ghosal, advocate at Calcutta high court.

BJP state unit vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said merely returning the money is not enough. He said Roy got the money years back and has returned it now. Majumdar said many of those who lost their money were driven to suicide. “Who will give the victims their lives back?’’ he asked. “She must be ready to face whatever punishment the law will give her.”

Former TMC Rajya Sabha member and actor Mithun Chakraborty had in 2015 returned 1.16 crore to the ED that he had received from the group when he was its brand ambassador.

TMC leaders Madan Mitra and Kunal Ghosh have spent over two years for their alleged role in the scam.

The CBI and ED have questioned several TMC lawmakers for their alleged involvement in an estimated 2,460 crore scam.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022