Did Sudipta Sen pay news channels money for advertisements that were never aired. Was this the new modus operandi to make a money transfer look legitimate?
These are certain questions that have been raised by the Enforcement Directorate that is probing the multi crore Saradha Scam. ED officials tell OneIndia that several channels in which Sen had invested have asked to prove that the money received for advertisements were in fact aired.
Tip of the iceberg
The ED which questioned Riniki Bhuyan Sarma the wife of former Assam Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma sought to know if the money which was paid was in fact towards advertisements.
It has been alleged that her news channel group Pride East Entertainments Private Ltd had received money for airing advertisements of the Saradha group.
The ED found a money trail of up to 2.74 crore made in three installments which reached the group from Sudipto Sen. The ED suspects that although the money was paid to air advertisement, the same never went live on the channel called News Live.
It is also the case of the ED that money of Rs 2.74 crore was paid in three installments between 2010 to 2013. However we suspect that the advertisements were never aired.
Was money deliberately parked by Sen?
The ED says that it appears as though Sudipta Sen had parked his money in several places including news channels. The money was transferred on the pretext of a payment being made towards an advertisement.
The ED questioned Riniki in detail about the same. She has however not produced any documents to support her claim that the advertisements were in fact aired.
This is the second time she is being questioned and she would be summoned yet again. Her statements and documents are important to ascertain the trail of the money as we propose to file the chargesheet by March an ED official also informed.