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Coal pilferage scam: ED quizzes Abhishek Banerjee's wife

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Kolkata, Jun 23: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday interrogated Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira Narula Banerjee at its city office in connection with the probe into the multi-crore rupees coal pilferage scam, an official said.

Rujira, went to the ED office at the CGO complex at around 11 a m carrying her son in her arms. Four officials, two of them women, are questioning her, the official said. "We are grilling her about a few transactions made in a bank account in Bangkok. Her answers are being tallied with those given by people who were interrogated earlier in the same case," he said when contacted.

Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee

The Supreme Court has allowed ED to quiz Banerjee and his wife in the coal smuggling case in Kolkata by giving them an advance 24 hour notice. The ED had expressed apprehensions at the apex court citing past instances of violence against CBI officers, who were gheraoed in the city after three heavyweight TMC leaders were summoned by them in connection with another scam at its office.

It had mailed to the state police seeking protection. Following it a huge police arrangement was made at the ED office here, a senior official of the force said. The investigation is linked to an FIR filed by CBI in 2020 in a multi-crore rupees pilferage scam. CBI has so far questioned Rujira twice in connection with the scam. The central agency had last year too interrogated Rujira's sister Menoka Gambhir, her husband and father-in-law in connection with the probe.

It is alleged that illegal mining of coal was carried out at leasehold mines of Eastern Coalfields' in Kunustoria and Kajora areas near Asansol in West Bengal. Investigations have hinted towards financial transactions of Rs 1,300 crore, the bulk of which went to several influential people as per CBI. The probe revealed that the money was deposited in foreign bank accounts of these influential people through hawala.

PTI

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