A team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials visited an apartment at a residential building on Panditiya Road off Hazra Road in south Kolkata on Thursday but apparently did not seize anything from the flat, a source in the central agency said.
This was the second visit of the central agency to Fort Oasis in upscale Ballygunge in the last 48 hours, to search the flat which is registered in the name of another woman but was inhabited by Arpita Mukherjee, ED officers said.
The lock on the main door was broken by the ED team to enter the flat on Thursday. “During our last visit, we could not enter the flat as the owner of the flat could not be located. Today, we have informed the local police station and broke the lock on the main door as per the requirement of the ongoing investigation into the money laundering case,” an ED official said.
The officers entered the flat on Thursday afternoon and came out after around three hours with no apparent seizures.
There was no formal declaration of seizure of cash or documents from the flat till late on Thursday evening. An ED team had last visited the flat on the fifth floor in Block-VI of Fort Oasis on Tuesday but had failed to enter the flat even after waiting for nine hours because the owner of the flat could not be traced.
The owner — a woman — was not available to hand over the keys to the flat, an ED officer said.
“A search at her new address on Lee Road had also drawn a blank,” the officer added. Sources in the central agency said they had received information that although the flat was purchased by another woman, directly from the developer, it was occupied by Arpita over a period of time.
“The flat was closed and vacant for the last few months, but we have information that Arpita used to live here. Hence, searching this location was very important for the sake of the ongoing probe,” the officer said.
Till now, ED teams have seized ₹49.8 crores from two apartments owned by Arpita Mukherjee.
The central agency had stumbled upon the address of these two flats from deeds that they had found in Partha Chatterjee’s home last month.