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ED to continue probe

Calcutta, May 9: The Enforcement Directorate’s probe into the Saradha scam will continue simultaneously with the CBI investigation, an ED official said today.

Senior officers of the special investigation team (SIT) set up by the state government to probe the Saradha default said they would wait for a copy of the Supreme Court’s order handing over the case to the CBI before “calling it a day”.

The Shyamal Sen Commission said it would continue disbursing compensation to duped depositors. Sources in the commission added that a decision on whether to continue inquiring into the extent of the default would be taken only after the panel got a copy of the court order.

A senior ED official said the central agency would submit its chargesheet to the city sessions court by July, detailing how money collected from lakhs of depositors was laundered.

“The Supreme Court handing over the probe to the CBI doesn’t mean we will have to stop our investigation,” said the official. “We will co-ordinate with the CBI.”

“We have already identified some Saradha properties in Guwahati and Agartala worth close to Rs 30 crore. We have also traced property worth Rs 150 crore in Bengal. All the properties will be attached soon,” the ED official said.

The ED has attached Saradha properties worth Rs 140 crore in Bengal and Odisha and interrogated several persons, including Trinamul’s Balurghat candidate Arpita Ghosh and former DGP Rajat Majumder.

The Shyamal Sen Commission said it would continue compensating depositors.

“We were planning to start distributing money by May-end among victims who have lost between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000. But before that, we need to get a copy of the apex court order and go through it in detail,” Justice Sen told The Telegraph.

“The commission has been looking into non-Saradha cases, too, in recent times,” he added.

With the CBI set to take the reins of the probe, the SIT said it would stop its investigation.

Senior officers of the SIT said it was waiting for a copy of the court order, which is supposed to reach the home department by next week. “We will call it a day after the CBI takes over,” an SIT official said.