Kolkata, Dec 19: The troubles for the Trinamool Congress Party do not seem to end and now the Enforcement Directorate is probing in full swing charges of money laundering against Madan Mitra.
Mitra was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Saradha case and has been extremely difficult to probe due to his stubborn nature.
The trust fund:
What the Enforcement Directorate has stumbled upon is a transfer of money made to a trust in Bishopur allegedly at the behest of Mitra. The allegation is that the Sudipto Sen had transferred this money at the behest of Mitra who felt that the trust which ran a temple in his former constituency of Bishnopur was in bad state.
According to the Enforcement Directorate Mitra is alleged to have told Sen to transfer money to the tune of Rs 1 crore towards the trust which manages the Swaminarayan Temple. Although the ED has found a trail of Rs 50 lakh it is yet to find out how the rest of the Rs 50 lakh was transferred.
The ED has found that the amount of Rs 50 lakh had reached the trust through an account managed by Saradha. The ED says that they have summoned the trust officials for questioning who will be able to ascertain the exact trail and also provide information about the remainder of the money. However whether the money was moved by Saradha at the behest of Mitra is something that we will have to ascertain along with the CBI.
Where is the rest of the money?
The CBI says that he is a tough nut to crack. However the CBI says that him playing hard to get is not affecting the investigation as there is ample evidence to nail him. His former accomplice, Bapi Karim was the man who collected money from the Saradha office at the behest of Mitra. Karim during his questioning had said that he was once told to go to the Saradha office and collect money which was kept aside for a temple.
It would be interesting to note if this was the same money which the ED is looking for. The ED has found the trail of the first installment of Rs 50 lakh. The remaining could be the one Karim is speaking about.
The charges of money laundering are extremely serious. Sen wanted protection and he chose to rely on the TMC politicians for this. On the other several politicians including Mitra are alleged to have ensured of protection in return for favours, the CBI says.
His relationship with Sen began ever since he became an MLA. Sen is alleged to have taken orders from Mitra who helped him launder his ill gotten wealth through the Saradha scam. Mitra it appears used Sen's money to develop his constituency which ensured that his political future was secure, the CBI says.
The CBI says that it would wait for the ED probe on the money trail to the trust. If found guilt of money laundering Mitra could face a seven year jail term.