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West Bengal: ED questions another TMC leader as Saradha scam probe

Sources said Ponda has also "shared some useful information" with the investigators about the people involved in the operations of Saradha and allied groups.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:December 29, 2014, 11:50 PM IST
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West Bengal: ED questions another TMC leader as Saradha scam probe
Sources said Ponda has also "shared some useful information" with the investigators about the people involved in the operations of Saradha and allied groups.

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned for about three hours Trinamool Congress leader Sankudeb Ponda in connection with its money laundering probe in the multi-crore Saradha chitfunds scam case.

"Ponda has been questioned about his association with the Saradha group and its management. His statement has been recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was questioned for close to three hours," official sources in the agency said.

Earlier, Ponda had reached the ED office in Salt Lake here at around 11 AM. Sources said Ponda has also "shared some useful information" with the investigators about the people involved in the operations of Saradha and allied groups.

"He has shared some leads about other suspects involved in the case and the agency will now piece together his version with the overall developments in the case," they said. His deposition came today after the ED recently issued summons to him.

Ponda is currently officiating as a TMC General Secretary and has been the former president of its youth wing in West Bengal. The ED has already questioned West Bengal Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee and TMC MPs Mohammad Hasan Imran, Mithun Chakraborty and arrested MP Kunal Ghosh. Ponda had earlier said that he would "cooperate with the agency with all earnest."

Officials said Ponda's version was required in this case as his name had figured as an employee in at least four firms that were conducting financial transactions with the now defunct Saradha group of companies. "In one instance, Ponda has received about Rs 14-15 lakh from the account of the prime accused in the case and Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen.

The agency wants to understand his business association with Saradha and others," sources had said. Ponda, during his questioning today, has also submitted records of his financial transactions and income in the last few years to the ED.

The young TMC leader's name, the sources claimed, has also been traced by investigators as a financial "beneficiary" in some companies owned by TMC MP Srinjoy Bose who was last month arrested by the CBI in the same case. The Saradha scam case is being probed by multiple central agencies including the ED, CBI and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) under the Corporate Affairs Ministry and it came to the fore last year after depositors who were duped raised their voice.

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