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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Enforcement Directorate begins process of freezing Sheikh Shahjahan’s two bank accounts

Central agency has filed two separate Enforcement Case Information Reports against Shahjahan, first related to Shahjahan’s involvement in irregularities in ration distribution and second about allegedly using his fish exports business for money laundering

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 05.04.24, 10:17 AM
Sheikh Shahjahan

Sheikh Shahjahan File picture

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday began the process of freezing Sheikh Shahjahan’s two bank accounts, including his personal account, while scrutinising financial statements of different companies with alleged links to suspended Trinamul leader.

The move, a source said, was aimed at identifying the countries where fish — including shrimps — were exported from the multitude of waterbodies dotting Sandeshkhali.

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The central agency has filed two separate Enforcement Case Information Reports (ECIR) — equivalent to FIRs — against Shahjahan, the alleged mastermind behind the attack on the ED and central paramilitary personnel on January 5 at Sandeshkhali.

The first ECIR is related to Shahjahan’s involvement in the irregularities in ration distribution across the state and the second about the Sandeshkhali strongman allegedly using his fish exports business for money laundering.

Senior ED officials said Shahjahan ran a company in the name of Sk Sabina Fishery.

In a report before a PMLA court, the ED submitted that “scrutiny of bank account of M/s Sk Sabina Fishery (proprietorship of Shahjahan Seikh) revealed it had received Rs 104 cr from M/s Magnum Exports in FY 2012-22 and FY 2022-23 and Rs 33 cr from M/s Arup Kumar Som in FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20.”

Investigations revealed that Magnum Exports allegedly made bogus entries worth Rs 31.2 crores during the two financial years of 2021-22 and 2022-23 to Sabina Fishery, officials said.

This amount, officials said, is a part of the proceeds of crime. The report states that this amount of Rs 31.2 crores was “earned from scheduled offences... including giving threats of injury, murder, attempt to murder, extortion, land grabbing.” Late last month, on March 22, officials said they questioned Mohidul Mollah, manager of Sk Sabina Fishery, and he spilled the beans.

“In 2019 Mr Shahjahan conducted a meeting in the Shahjahan market wherein he threatened all fish vendors in the market to sell all fish through his firm, M/s Sk Sabina Fish Supply, only. He also threatened them to shut the business if they don’t listen to him,” ED’s report before the court stated.

“Sk Sabina acquires 50% shrimp directly from fish vendors/ farmers, 10-15 % shrimp from his own farm lands and 35-40% shrimp from shrimp farms, illegally grabbed from villagers,” the report states.

The report, which was drawn up on March 30 when the agency arrested Shahjahan, bears the signature of Harish Sharma, ED’s assistant director, and several other witnesses of the arrest.

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