The attempted suicide by Kunal Ghosh has put the CBI on overdrive mode. While at some level the agency realises that it was the frustration of Ghosh that led to him attempting suicide, the CBI also claims that it has its hands full owing to the magnitude of the Saradha scam. [Kunal Ghosh understood he reached a point of no return]
What 500-plus page report has revealed
The 500-plus page report of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) accessed by Oneindia makes startling revelations and points a finger at several politicians who were part of this scam.
Politicians not much forthcoming in providing details
However, at the end of it the SFIO makes an observation stating that it is the CBI which should probe deeper as these politicians were less than forthcoming when it came to providing details of the Saradha transactions. It particularly takes the name of a sitting West Bengal minister who should be probed by the CBI.
Funds transferred abroad through hawala
The SFIO which started probing various Ponzi scams two years back states that hawala played a major role through which funds were transferred to several foreign countries. Rs 120 crore alone was transferred to USA and West Asia and there is more on this front that is being probed.
The SFIO has stumbled upon multiple other angles to the probe and now a combined report with the findings of the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau will be prepared. The SFIO official said that it takes time to get access to systems and operatives abroad and this the CBI would be able to do better.
Transactions flouted RBI norms
However each one was a hawala transaction completely flouting RBI norms and as pointed out by our Intelligence Bureau, most of the money was transferred through dedicated hawala operatives who work for terror groups as well. Like the Intelligence Bureau even the SFIO states that it was an MP with ideological connections to Bangladeshi outfits which helped the Saradha scam accused move money out of India.
Even some SEBI members are under scanner
A suspicious transaction of Rs 50 crore and the involvement of six members of the SEBI is under the scanner of the agencies probing the Saradha scam. The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have found that the Saradha Chief Sudipto Sen had moved money into companies and later pulled it out only with an intent of duping the SEBI and to show that valid transactions had been made.
Businessmen who helped Saradha chief Sudipto Sen
The CBI which questioned two key businessmen, Debabrata Sarkar and Sandhir Agarwal have found that they had allegedly helped Sen make investments into companies on a temporary basis to show to the SEBI that a valid business was being run.
These two apart from a businessman from Rajasthan effectively managed the transactions of SEBI. One such deal led up to a Congress man by the name Matang Sing who is said to have sold his stake in Positive TV to Sen.
Matang Singh's suspicious claims
However, what the CBI has found fishy here is that Sing claims that he brought back the stake from Sen despite there being a dispute on this deal. Sen during his questioning by the CBI has said that he did not sell the stake back to Sing which has led the CBI to beleive that this could have been another case of money being parked to evade SEBI scrutiny.
The nexus between the politicians, businessmen and also the police is deep in this scam the CBI points out. Each one has had a crucial role to play and we will start giving out more names as and when we stumble upon crucial evidence, the CBI says.
Who is the Rajasthani businessman considered very important by CBI?
A Rajasthani businessman from Bombay is extremely crucial to the probe, the CBI source says. He was referred to as Jash by Sen during their conversation and he became the point man to dodge the SEBI. Jash is well connected and had even roped in some SEBI officials to be part of this deal.
A sum of Rs 50 crore over three years had been transferred personally by Sen to Jash who in turn used the same to keep SEBI out of the picture. Jash is said to have also worked closely with Sandip Agarwal in reaching out to a top SEBI official in a bid to dodge the law. The CBI says that this racket started out in 2010 and while probing this we have come across names in the finance ministry too.
Who is Jash, the Rajasthani bizman who helped dodge the SEBI?
Sen, who was confronted with these questions, told the CBI that Agarwal and Jash were directly in contact with members in the finance ministry. This makes the scam ever murkier as the CBI is digging up information and pulling out transcripts to show the interaction between Sen's men and finance ministry officials.
Top SEBI officer took money from Saradha to cover up the scam?
During the course of the investigation it has also been found that not just middle men, but a top officer in the SEBI had received money from Saradha to cover up this scam. During this time investments were made in various establishments mainly media companies. Investments into tourism firms in Assam, sports clubs in West Bengal have also been found.
Officers from SEBI alleged to be involved in this kept a watch but did nothing despite money being routed in and out of Saradha. All the money was routed into companies in West Bengal, Odissha, Assam and Bombay mainly in 2010.
These looked like legal transactions. However a year later, the same money came back to the accounts of Saradha and this went intentionally unnoticed, the CBI pointed out. Once the money almost to the tune of Rs 1200 crore came back to Saradha, it was then routed out of the country through hawala channels.
The Saradha group wanted to keep the money in circulation within the country. They were waiting for the heat to die down and dependin on the investor mood they moved money around.