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Sunday, March 3, 2024

ED suspects assets recovered from Arpita Mukherjee’s residence just a small portion of actual loot

Officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities suspect that the assets recovered from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Commerce & Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee, were just a small portion of the actual reserve.

While recovering the assets, the ED sleuths have come across some other incriminating documents that hint of a large amount of cash transfers by Mukherjee using the route of private money transfer agents.

These documents also suggest that a certain amount of cash was also transferred through the hawala route to Bangladesh.

The assets recovered so far is Rs 21.20 crore worth of Bharatiya currency, gold ornaments of the estimated market value of around Rs 90 lakhs, foreign currency valued at around Rs 60 lakhs, several high-end smartphones, sale deeds of multiple flats, and ownership documents of multiple luxury vehicles.

ED sources have said that they are not as yet sure of the exact amount transferred through these private or hawala routes.

They suspect that the value of the transferred money is much higher than what has been recovered in the forms of Bharatiya and foreign currencies and gold ornaments.

The sources further said the probe agency has also secured certain names and contact numbers from Mukherjee’s residence, who are believed to have played an important role in this illegal money transfer.

“We are trying to reach out to these people through their contact numbers,” an ED official said.

The investigation has revealed that Mukherjee’s role was quite important in the money trail involved in the WBSSC recruitment irregularities scam.

She was also presented at a lower court in Kolkata on Sunday and will appear before presented the special court of Public Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Monday afternoon.

Chatterjee, who is currently in Bhubaneswar for a medical check-up, will also virtually appear at the PMLA court.

It is learnt that ED will seek further extension of custody for both.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline and minor edits to conform to HinduPost style guide)

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