The Central Bureau of Investigation which has been burning the midnight oil to find out how money from the Saradha scam allegedly reached the Trinamool Congress party appears to have finally found the link.
The deposition by three employees of the Trinetra Consultant Private limited made it clear that the TMC got an amount of Rs 7.4 crore ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The CBI has been trying to find out if the Saradha group pumped in money into Trinetra through two event management companies. Was this the route that the Saradha group used to ensure that money reached the TMC?
Finding the money trail:
The CBI had issued notices to the TMC a few months back seeking details of donations it received. During the raids that the CBI had conducted on an assets management company it had found that money in various installments of Rs 2 crore had been moved into Trinetra. It was believed that this assets management company was being controlled by the Saradha group.
Once the money reached Trinetra it was moved as a donation to the TMC, the CBI has learnt. The CBI had called in for questioning three employees of Trinetra who in their deposition said that ahead of the 2014 lok sabha elections an amount of Rs 7.4 crore had been transferred to the TMC.
Further it was also found that Trinetra a property management firm had transferred the money to the TMC through both cheque and cash. The primary intent of this angle to the probe is to ascertain if Saradha group had moved money to Trinetra through an assets management company so that it could reach the TMC without the real trail being busted.
What is the link between Trinetra and Saradha:
The CBI says that there is an alleged link between Trinetra and Saradha group. Two companies alleged to be controlled by Saradha were routing in money to Trinetra. In turn Trinetra is alleged to have moved the money in form of donations to the TMC. Two months the CBI had sought details from the TMC about this exact same transaction.
In the process of finding the money trail, the CBI had also sought for details of 21 bank accounts of the TMC. This would have helped the CBI understand the money trail better. The money was sent to the bank accounts either in the form of cheque or cash, the CBI officer informed. We have also gone into transactions made to Trinetra by the two other companies since the year 2011.
Was money moved out in the same fashion?
Central Bureau of Investigation officials say that it is extremely important that they find the money trail outside the country as well. Money from the Saradha group was laundered outside the country through various fronts and also hawala transactions with the help of some Bangladesh based operatives.
The Saradha group was at an advantage as they had advance information about the scam being busted thanks to some insiders in the government. Sudipta Sen, the mastermind of the scam started moving out through various channels two months before the scam was busted as insiders tipped him about the entire issue blowing up.
The CBI is trying to ascertain if Saradha moved money to various firms through other firms it controlled. This could have been the modus operandi in which these firms were given money so that they could park the same outside the country as well.
Our intention is to ensure that all the money that the Saradha group has parked both within and outside the country is brought back so that the investor could be paid off, the CBI officer also informed.