The arrest of Rose Valley chairman, Gautam Kundu is a major step forward for the Enforcement Directorate probing yet another multi-crore ponzi scam after the Saradha case.
Kundu who was questioned last month by the ED will provide answers to the agency about various aspects of the scam which runs into approximately Rs 15,000 crore. Kundu had last month confessed to have meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Deolo in Kalimpong on March 1 2012.
Interestingly Sudipta Sen the mastermind of the Saradha scam too had met with the West Bengal Chief Minister at Deolo around the same time as per the confession made by senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress Party, Kunal Ghosh and Mukul Roy.
Rose Valley much bigger than Saradha:
The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate which have been focusing entirely on the Saradha scam all these days now have a herculean task ahead of them in the Rose Valley scam.
The Rose Valley scam is much bigger compared to Saradha, a CBI officer told Oneindia.
Rose Valley group when compared to Saradha had mobilized six times the amount that Saradha had. The Rose Valley scam is approximately worth around Rs 15,000 crore.
The ED has already frozen 2,500 accounts of the Rose Valley group and the agency suspects that there are many more to be tracked and frozen.
The ED and the CBI which will now speed up the Rose Valley probe say that they are treating this case independent of Saradha all though the names of some TMC leaders alleged to be involved in both these scams are similar. We have not found any link between Kundu and Sen as yet the officer informed.
Madan Mitra under scanner:
Madan Mitra who has been arrested in connection with the Saradha scam will now be questioned for his alleged role in the Rose Valley case as well. Mitra's name had cropped up when the probe indicated that he had in fact helped Rose Valley and East Bengal strike a deal.
The name of TMC MP, Tapas Paul too had cropped up during investigations as he was the director in the company, the probe has also revealed. The ED and the CBI will now question Mitra and also Paul to find out more about the Rose Valley scam.
CPM leaders too will be questioned:
While the scam flourished under the TMC in West Bengal, the ED will go back to the roots of the scam which is said to have begun when the CPM was in power.
We are aware that the deposits in both the Saradha and Rose Valley scams were collected for the first time when the CPM was in power. There are several CPM leaders who were aware of these scams but preferred to look the other way. While the making of the scam began when the CPM was in power, both Kundu and Sen were quick to cozy up to the TMC when it came to power.
Both Sen and Kundu had met Mamata separately at Deolo and this meeting was arranged at the behest of some TMC leaders. It has been found that these meetings were a courtesy call by both Sen and Kundu, but the promise made by both of them were similar.
Both had told the TMC leadership that they would be investing heavily in the media especially television and the assurance was that they would run a campaign called, " Mamata for PM."
During the course of the investigations it was also found that Rose Valley was one of the sponsors for the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders for two years. The investments made into this IPL team has been under the scanner for nearly a year and now with the arrest of Kundu the CBI and the ED will look for more links.
The ED and the CBI found it strange in the manner in which Rose Valley had been expanding its business. Over night there were several investments that were made which included investments into film production, sports teams and more importantly media houses.
Rose Valley which has been under the scanner of the SEBI was also found to have issued non-convertible debentures which were completely in violation of the law. This was done to raise funds from the market, ED officials said.
Prior to his arrest he was questioned for three hours. He had been questioned several times in the past as well and each time he had given inconsistent answers which finally led up to his arrest.
He had no answers to questions relating to the losses the company was incurring despite it collecting several 100 crores. Despite showing losses he continued to invest in media houses and also is said to have financed around 40 Bengali movies. The Rolls Royce Phantom in which he drove around is also under the scanner as this surely does not indicate that he was incurring losses, an investigator said in lighter vein.