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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Ration distribution case: ED files supplementary charge sheet detailing money laundering by ex-Bengal minister, aide

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a supplementary charge sheet in the multi-crore ration distribution case in West Bengal, with details of money laundering amounting to hundreds of crores of rupees by a former West Bengal minister and his close associate.

This is the second charge sheet filed by the central agency in the matter. The first was filed in December last year.

In this supplementary charge sheet filed on Tuesday, sources said that relevant details were given as to how Trinamool Congress leader and forex dealer Shankar Adhya helped erstwhile state Food & Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick to divert Rs 750 crore of scam proceeds between 2011 and 2021, first by converting them into foreign currencies and then by parking them abroad through the hawala route.

Mallick is currently in judicial custody because of his alleged involvement in the case in his capacity as the Food & Supplies Minister from 2011 to 2021. Adhya is also in judicial custody for his alleged role in the same case.

In the supplementary charge sheet, the sources added, details have been given about the amount received by Adhya as commission for fund diversion.

The sources added that in the 83-page supplementary charge sheet, the central agency has also named four new corporate entities for their alleged involvement in the fund diversion process.

In the first charge sheet filed in December last year, the ED had referred to 10 corporate shell entities that were opened to channelise and divert the ill-gotten proceeds of the alleged scam.

Mallick and a Kolkata-based businessman named Bakibur Rahaman were named in the first charge sheet.

It gave details as to how Rahaman sold flour meant to be distributed through the public distribution system (PDS) in the open market, especially to the corporate entities engaged in marketing of packaged flour.

Rahaman has also been accused of illegally procuring paddy from the farmers by opening fake farmers’ cooperatives at prices lower than the minimum support price (MSP), and then selling the same at a price higher than the MSP in the open market.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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