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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Enforcement Directorate stops bank deals linked to former Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan

The move to stop all the bank transactions of the two companies comes parallel to the central agency’s step of freezing Shahjahan’s two bank accounts, one of which deals with his fish export

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 06.04.24, 11:46 AM
Shahjahan Sheikh

Shahjahan Sheikh File image

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has instructed banks to stop all transactions — inward and outward — in the accounts of two companies, which were found to be involved in doing business with former Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan.

The two corporate entities linked to Shahjahan are M/s Magnum Exports and M/s Arup Som.

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The move to stop all the bank transactions of the two companies comes parallel to the central agency’s step of freezing Shahjahan’s two bank accounts, one of which deals with his fish export.

Out of the two companies, Shahjahan’s firm — M/s Sk Sabina Fishery — had received Rs 104 cr from M/s Magnum Exports in FY 2012-22 and FY 2022-23, ED’s initial probe has revealed. The suspended Trinamul leader’s firm received Rs 33 cr from M/s Arup Kumar Som in FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20.
Investigations so far have revealed that Magnum Exports allegedly made bogus entries of Rs 31.2 crore during the two financial years of 2021-22 and 2022-23 to Sabina Fishery, officials said.

“In February, we carried out search and seizure operations at the offices of M/s Magnum Exports and M/s Arup Kumar Som. Raids were also carried out at the residences of two partners of Magnum Exports — Arun Sengupta and Partha Pratim Sengupta — apart from that of Som,” said a senior ED official.

Over the following few weeks, separate teams poured over the documents that were seized from these search and seizure operations to understand the alleged money trail and the complex labyrinth that Shahjahan used to move money, senior officials said.

On February 24, during the search and seizure operation, the ED recorded the statement of Arun Sengupta, one of the partners of Magnum Exports.

The central agency’s report before the PMLA court lays bare what Sengupta had to say.

“Further I want to submit that Sheikh Shahjahan came to my office in 2020-21 and told he wanted to do business with my firm and wants to sell shrimps through Sk Sabina Fishery,” said Sengupta according to the report.

“We started doing business in March 2021. After sometime, he came to my office and told me that I have to provide him bogus entries i.e. he would provide cash to me and in return I will transfer the same amount through my firm (through banking channel) to Sk Sabina Fishery.. I denied, but he threatened to kill me and my family,” the report quoted him further.

Shahjahan was taken to ESI Hospital in Joka during the day for the mandatory health check-up while in ED custody and a section of bystanders and visitors to the hospital shouted slogans at him.

“Instead of guarding people like him (Shahjahan), the central forces should be in Sandeshkhali guarding the booths,” said one of them. “These are terrors of Sandeshkhali. They (the likes of Shahjahan) should be sent to Tihar jail.”

A few others screamed slogans “chor chor “ while Shajahan was being escorted to a car at the end of the check-up.

Shahjahan, who had earlier said he was a victim of political conspiracy, on Friday said that false allegations were being labelled at him and this was the work of BJP’s touts.

Shob BJP r dalal ra korchhey...” he said.

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