The woman from whose flat a huge sum of money was said to have been seized on Friday was known to minister Partha Chatterjee since 2015 and has been a part of his Durga Puja at Naktala Udayan Sangha, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers said.
Arpita Mukherjee, identified by some as a part-time actress, had allegedly featured on a puja banner of the Naktala club.
The money allegedly found in Mukherjee’s flat — according to ED sources the haul exceeded Rs 20 crore — was being counted till late on Friday.
A team of over 10 officers reached Arpita’s apartment in the morning and apparently stumbled on the cash after questioning her for over three hours.
Towards afternoon, ED officers called in a team from a nationalised bank to help them count the notes with three note-counting machines. Late at night, officers said they had sought help from the state police to provide adequate security when they would finally take the bags out.
One ED officer said they had seized 20 mobile phones from the apartment.
It was still not clear whether all of them belonged to Mukherjee.
Several files and documents have also been impounded. ED personnel said they would scrutinise the documents to find out more about the source of her income and how she could have amassed such a huge reserve of cash.
Mukherjee has been living in flat 1A of Tower II in the Haridevpur complex for four years, a neighbour said. The flat is spread over about 1,600 square feet, a guard at the entrance said.
Sources in the ED said the cash was stacked in plastic bags, backpacks and carry bags in one of the three rooms of the apartment. The bundles of notes were neatly packed inside paper packets sealed with plastic wrappings, making them appear as gift boxes. The notes were of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denomination, officers said.
“We knew her to be an actor,” a guard at Mukherjee’s housing complex said.
Senior ED officers said they were yet to complete their interrogation of Mukherjee.
“Since most of Friday was lost in counting the cash and completing formalities, we would like to interrogate her more extensively about the source of the amount later,” said a senior ED officer.