June 4: The CBI today launched its probe into the Saradha default scam in Bengal by registering three FIRs against the group.
The central agency has named Saradha chief Sudipta Sen and Trinamul MP Kunal Ghosh, who used to head the group’s media wing, in the FIRs. FIRs have also been lodged against Manoj Nagel, the director of Saradha Realty; Debjani Mukherjee, Saradha’s executive director; Arvind Chauhan, an employee; and Somnath Dutta, the group’s vice-president.
Sen had been arrested from Sonamarg in Jammu and Kashmir in April 2013 while Ghosh, who has been suspended by Trinamul, was picked up on November 23 last year.
Sources said charges of cheating (IPC section 420), criminal breach of trust (405) and criminal conspiracy (120B) had been brought against the six accused. The sources said the CBI would focus on gathering evidence before submitting the chargesheet.
One of the FIRs deals with the role of some regulatory authorities, which the CBI is looking into in connection with the Saradha probe. “Government officials and several politicians will be questioned in due course to unravel the larger nexus and their alleged role in promoting the illegal chit fund racket,” CBI director Ranjit Sinha said today.
The CBI today also lodged 43 FIRs in Odisha in connection with the default by Saradha and other deposit-mobilising companies.
“We have clubbed several similar cases to conduct a probe in a scientific manner,” said a senior member of the special investigating team (SIT) set up by the CBI to probe the Saradha scam.
“Since lakhs of small investors became bankrupt in Bengal, the cases have been registered keeping in mind the larger conspiracy angle of the scam. Details of bank accounts, how Saradha collected deposits in the districts with the promise of high returns and where the money was funnelled are some of our primary concerns,” the officer added.