Enforcement Directorate teams raid in at least nine locations in the city on Thursday

Onslaught were to trace alleged beneficiaries of proceeds of crime from alleged irregularities in appointments in state-aided schools

Our Special Correspondent Kolkata Published 29.12.23, 06:42 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Enforcement Directorate teams carried out search and seizure operations in at least nine locations in the city on Thursday.

The raids were to trace the alleged beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime from alleged irregularities in appointments in state-aided schools, ED officers said.


With central paramilitary forces in tow, the teams fanned out to addresses in Burrabazar, Phoolbagan, Maniktala, Alipore and Ganesh Chandra Avenue. Among those being searched were chartered accountants, exporters and businessmen.

The alleged corruption took place between 2014 and 2021, an ED officer said.

The first team led by two officers of the rank of assistant director reached a housing complex in Phoolbagan looking for two businessmen. They were allegedly involved in parking some of the money allegedly collected from prospective candidates seeking jobs as assistant teachers in state-aided schools.

The second team went to Canning Street in Burrabazar when the office of a chartered accountant under the ED scanner had not opened yet.

Other ED teams went to at least seven other locations.

There was no formal communication from the ED about the multi-location operation.

A senior officer of the central agency said the operation was to trail the money and identifying businesses where the proceeds of crime may have been parked.

“Since our investigation is under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), we are trying to connect the dots and trace the path that several hundreds of crores travelled during the time of the scam,” said the officer.

In March, the ED had said the amount involved in the alleged irregularities was around Rs 350 crore and said it could go up if more links were found.

Over the next few months, ED officers said they had stumbled upon links to suggest that part of the money was either sent to beneficiaries beyond the state or parked in businesses like real estate.

“There are reasons to believe that Sujay Krishna Bhadra (one of those arrested in the case) had made transactions of several crores using the hawala route,” the officer said.

A part of Thursday’s operation, which spanned over eight hours, was also aimed at collecting documents and electronic evidence of investments and bank account details from those under the scanner.

Cyber fraud

In another case, an ED team said they seized over Rs 1.85 crore in a search operation at a businessman’s house in Rabindrapally, Kestopur, in connection with an alleged cyber fraud.

The accused had fled. “His friend was present. The amount seized appears to have been collected by allegedly duping people through online fraud,” said an ED officer who was part of the team.

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