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Focus on ‘conspiracy’ in Saradha probe

New Delhi, May 12: The CBI formed a special investigation team today to probe the inter-state deposit-mobilisation racket, including the Saradha scam in Bengal, with the thrust on the larger conspiracy involving politicians, bureaucrats, regulatory body officials and other influential people.

Led by Rajeev Singh, joint director (northeast), the special investigation team (SIT) will be made up of CBI officers from Calcutta, Odisha, the Northeast and Bihar.

The Supreme Court had on Friday overruled the Mamata Banerjee government’s objections to order a CBI probe into the estimated Rs 10,000-crore scandal across states, with particular reference to Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Tripura. It also cited the possibility of international money-laundering.

“This is a very big scam and we are taking it very seriously. The SIT has started collecting all the relevant documents before registering the FIR in the scandal,” agency director Ranjit Sinha told The Telegraph.

He said the agency would ask the Bengal government to hand over the papers and documents soon.

“Politicians and influential people seem to be involved, and the thrust of our probe will be on the larger conspiracy. We are taking legal opinion on whether to register one FIR in the case or more,” a senior agency officer said.

An audit report has pegged the scale of the Saradha scam in Bengal at Rs 2,459 crore. Several Trinamul Congress leaders and associates face allegations of Saradha Group links.

The CBI will also probe officials of regulatory bodies such as Sebi, the Registrar of Companies and the Reserve Bank of India.