Kolkata: The CBI on Wednesday interrogated Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul, and arrested Manoranjana Sinh, wife of former union minister Matang Sinh based in Guwahati, and Santanu Ghosh, an industrialist, in the city in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.
Sinh was arrested for “not cooperating during interrogation” at its regional headquarters, having been investigated on charges of cheating Saradha group chairman Sudipto Sen. According to Sen, Sinh had entered into a contract with Sen to start a television channel as a joint venture with an investment of Rs 42 crore. She took Rs 23 crore from Sen but failed to return the money after the channel stopped functioning two years later.
The contract was drafted by Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram for a fee of Rs 1 crore. Sen, in his letter to the CBI, before he fled the city and was arrested in the Kashmir valley, alleged that Sinh had told him that Nalini, as wife of an influential Congress minister, could solve his problems with central agencies such as SEBI.
Sinh has been interrogated several times before the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and she had assured the ED that she would return the funds through sale of property and equipment of her television channel, Frontier TV. The CBI and ED are expected to make more arrests, including that of former Assam government officials who were allegedly on Sen’s payroll. Ghosh was also arrested on charges of cheating for having sold Sen, for crores, a manufacturing unit where no production took place. He was on bail, having been earlier arrested by the ED. Sen has been behind bars since April 2012 for duping 17 lakh people of Rs 23 crore through a chit fund company.
Meanwhile, TMC Lok Sabha MP from Krishnanagar Tapas Paul was interrogated for five hours over his involvement in the Saradha scam and a larger chit fund scam by the Rose Valley group owned by Gautam Kundu, who was arrested in March. The CBI and ED claim to have documentation showing Paul took huge amounts of money from both companies. Paul was allowed after examination of the documents he furnished before the sleuths.
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