regular-article-logo Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Ponzi scam: I have been framed for political reasons: Raju Sahani

On Saturday, Halishahar municipality chief was remanded in CBI custody for five days by chief judicial magistrate court of Asansol

Abhijeet Chatterjee And Subhasish Chaudhuri Durgapur, Kalyani Published 04.09.22, 12:45 AM
Raju Sahani

Raju Sahani Twitter/@kavita_tewari

Trinamul leader and Halishahar municipality chief Raju Sahani, who was arrested by the CBI on Friday for his alleged involvement in a Rs 100-crore Ponzi scam, claimed on Saturday that he had been “framed for political reasons”.

On Saturday, Sahani was remanded in CBI custody for five days by the chief judicial magistrate court of Asansol.


He was arrested by the CBI on Friday following a raid on his New Town flat from where the central agency reportedly recovered Rs 80 lakh in cash, an improvised pistol and papers related to an account in a bank in Thailand.

CBI sources said Rs 10 lakh more was seized from the “two properties related to Sahani”.

He was produced before the CJM court by the CBI on Saturday as the CBI’s special court is shut on weekends.

In Asansol too, Sahani claimed innocence. “I have done no wrong. I have no link with any money laundering company,” he told the media.

In Calcutta, he told reporters: “Let the time come... you will understand... I have been implicated for political reasons.”

Sahani’s lawyers Pradip Kar and Prasenjit Nag moved his bail plea claiming that keeping a big sum of money at home was not a crime.

The lawyers called Sahani a businessman and claimed that his arrest was motivated to malign his political career.

CBI lawyers Shibendra Sachan and Rakesh Kumar claimed Sahani was one of the direct beneficiaries of the Burdwan-based Bardhaman Sanmarg Cooperative, a Ponzi firm. They demanded his seven-day remand for more interrogations.

The court after hearing the counsels for an hour remanded Sahani to five days in CBI custody. He will be again produced before court on September 8.

Several complaints were lodged in 2014 by depositors against the company in different police stations in Burdwan district.

The CBI started probing the case since 2018 following a Supreme Court directive. Earlier the agency arrested Trinamul leader and former administrator of Burdwan municipality Pranab Chatterjee and a director of the Ponzi firm C.S Sabat. Both are out on bail.

The head of the Ponzi firm, Soumyaroop Bhowmik, could not be arrested yet.

The CBI is probing into the source of funds used to build Sahani’s lavish residential building and a resort linked to him. Sahani has failed to reveal the source of funds. “He has only denied any link with the Ponzi money,” a CBI official said.

The BJP took to the streets in Halisahar. demanding Sahani’s ouster as civic body chairperson.

BJP supporters led by state secretary Phalguni Patra demonstrated in front of the civic body office in Halisahar and tried to enter the heavily guarded office premise.

In the ensuing scuffle with cops, at least five BJP supporters were injured. Angry BJP supporters blocked a road but police later dispersed them.

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