More trouble for Mamata Banerjee, now TMC leaders land in Port scam

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There is more trouble ahead for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) with the CBI prima facie finding the involvement of several TMC including Srinjoy Bose in the multi crore ports scam.

The CBI, which has been probing the matter, said that the estimated loss in the past one and half years caused to the state's exchequer is Rs 2,500 crore.

Mamata Banerjee

The scam went on unabated thanks to the alleged involvement of the ruling TMC leaders, the CBI has found in its preliminary investigation.

With the Port Scam investigation progressing by the CBI on in full swing, West Bengal faces more embarrassment after the Saradha scam and the Burdwan incident. [Saradha chit fund scam, nightmare for WB CM, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee: Explained]

With the Prime Minister's office seeking a report from the Central Bureau of Investigation on this case, it appears that the probe will speed up and the accused brought to justice.

Double trouble:

For Srinjoy Bose the nightmare is never ending. A Rajya Sabha MP of the TMC, who was arrested in connection with the Saradha scam, will now face the CBI in the Ports scam as well.

According to the CBI files, Bose who was one of the directors of the Ripley and co was a major beneficiary of this scam.

During the CBI investigation it was found that the state's exchequer was duped of thousands of crores in this scam. Private agents were employed without any tender.

This meant that private agents including Ripley and Co were handling the onshore operations of the Kolkata Port Trust without any tender.

This meant that the money earned by them never reached the state government thus resulting in major losses.

Bose has been in the eye of the storm ever since his name surfaced in the Saradha scam.

His name was taken by various agencies which included the Serious Frauds Investigation Office, the Central Bureau of Investigation and also the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Saradha scam. He was arrested last month.

Allegations galore:

CBI sources tell Oneindia that during their investigation they found that there was a monopoly. "We are not ruling out his political connections in this scam as a result of which it went on unnoticed."

"During out questioning of the port authorities we found that Bose and his family members monopolized the cargo handling business at the Haldia Dock Complex," he added.

"It was also learnt that due to heavy political backing there was a monopoly and other companies were threatened with goons and dire consequences when they questioned about this operation."

More TMC leaders in net:

Apart from Bose and his father, the CBI is also probing to find out the link that more TMC leaders allegedly had in connection with this scam.

The preliminary probe points to the names of Mukul Roy a TMC Rajya Sabha member. He will be questioned as there are allegations against him too the CBI official said.

In addition to this two more former MP's of the TMC will be called in for questioning the CBI officer further said.

Manmohan Singh mum:

The allegations were first made during the Manmohan Singh regime. An official complaint had been lodged with the then Prime Minister Singh, but chose to remain mum.

After the BJP came to power a second complaint was made by Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava, the minister of state for tribal affairs. The BJP government ordered a CBI probe.

The CBI launched a major investigation into this scam and found that not a single rule had been followed. There was absolute monopoly on part of the perpetrators due to the alleged backing of TMC leaders. Further the provisions of the Major Port Trust Act were not followed.

"We have sought details from the officials and during the initial part of the probe found that not many were cooperating due to political pressure. However, they have now agreed to furnish the required documents," said official.

The CBI officer points out that a preliminary report on the findings as sought by the PMO will be given by next week.

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